AS the first Fish & Ships festival takes place in Whitby, a new sculpture has been installed in tribute to the town's fishing families.

Yorkshire-born Emma Stothard designed her creation 'A Whitby Fisherlass' as a life-size tribute to the women of the fishing town.

Placed on Tate Hill Pier, the sculpture is constructed from twisted metal.

Ms Stothard said: "As a local lass myself, it’s impossible not to be fascinated by the fisher lasses – and overawed by the back-breaking work they did alongside the men to support local industry.

"I grew up on the Yorkshire Coast and I’ve never lost my childhood wonder for this very special place and its magnificent countryside inspires my work today.

"It’s wonderful that Whitby is coming together for the Fish & Ships Festival and showcasing how its great sea-faring heritage is inspiring local people today."

The free festival, which begins today, will end on Sunday, May 18 and includes live cookery demonstrations, workshops and street entertainment.

In the days running up to the festival, celebrity TV chef and BBQ expert Ben Bartlett was confirmed to be in attendance.

It's expected he will join other celebrity chefs Brian Turner and Jean-Christophe Novelli.