Grantchester and The A Word actress Morven Christie has been announced as the lead for ITV’s new crime drama series, The Bay.

The Scottish actress will play “fierce and heard-working” family liaison officer Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong in the series, set in the Lancashire coastal town of Morecambe.

The six-part drama, written by playwright Daragh Carville, sees Lisa assigned to a missing persons investigation, although it soon becomes apparent she has a personal connection with the family involved, putting everything at risk.

The Bay’s first three episodes will be directed by Lee Haven Jones, who has worked on Vera and Shetland, and the final three will be directed by Robert Quinn, who has worked on Ackley Bridge and No Offence.

Christie said: “Lisa is such a refreshingly real character – brilliant and flawed, trying to make everything work, and often failing. I adore her. And I loved Daragh’s scripts, rooted in the families and community of this distinctive town.

“I can’t wait to get stuck in with Lee and the team, and this fantastic cast he has put together. I hope we’re going to make something that feels raw and real, as well as being a hugely compelling story.”

Other cast members in the series include Jonas Armstrong, Tracie Bennett, Lindsey Coulson, Chanel Cresswell and Louis Greatorex.

Christie, 36, is known for her roles in the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence and mini-series The Replacement, the latter of which she was nominated for a Bafta Scotland Award.

She has also appeared in several plays, including Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing.

The Bay’s executive producer Catherine Oldfield said: “We are so thrilled to have the hugely talented Morven Christie to lead the cast as DS Lisa Armstrong. Daragh’s wonderful writing and Lee’s brilliant vision for the show have drawn this amazing cast to The Bay and we can’t wait to see them bring the scripts to life for ITV.”

ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill commended Carville’s “fresh take on crime, which she said is a story “about family and community”.

She added: “I’m delighted Morven Christie has agreed to play DS Lisa Armstrong alongside a very impressive ensemble cast.”