Acclaimed actress Nicola will be playing the role of dedicated teaching assistant Tess, who is described as a "warm and assured person with a great heart".
Producers have revealed that Tess' life will take an unexpected turn when she meets long serving vet Paddy Kirk (played by Dominic Brunt).
Nicola said: "I'm thrilled to be joining the cast of Emmerdale. It's a British institution and I'm very excited about the storylines that they have planned for my character."
Having already had a wealth of television and stage credits to her name, Nicola is best known for her roles in Brookside, Waterloo Road, The Chase, Clocking Off and most recently Safe House.
Nicola will start filming her scenes as Tess this month, and viewers will see her on screen in the autumn.
Emmerdale series producer, Kate Oates, said: "I am delighted to welcome an actress of Nicola's calibre to the show. We are keeping the exact details of Tess' storyline under wraps but it is safe to say she will mix things up in the village."
Try Reveal's digital edition on iPhone & iPad. Subscribe now & never miss an issue!