ENVIRONMENTALLY-focused distillery, Cooper King, is helping to fund a charity's rural apprentice scheme.

The York-based distillery will donate £16,000 this year, directly from proceeds of its single malt whisky, to the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust's apprentice scheme for 16 to 24 year olds.

£5 from each bottle goes to YDMT, with Cooper King’s remaining donation from sales of the distillery’s other sought-after spirits, including its carbon negative Cooper King Dry Gin.

The annual donation is equivalent to funding one of the charity’s six apprentices for a year. In addition to a college placement, the apprenticeships enable young people to learn about countryside management and community environmental projects, while focusing on practical skills to help restore, develop and maintain vital countryside and green urban spaces.

Oscar, 17, from Settle, has an enthusiasm for wildlife and fought for a YDMT apprenticeship by proving his ability to solve problems, his practical approach to tasks, showing how he can support the work of others and his willingness to study.

Dr Abbie Jaume, co-founder, Cooper King Distillery said: “There is an urgent need to protect and restore our delicate, rural landscape. Protecting our environment is at the core of what we do, that’s why we’re dedicated to producing sustainable spirits which drive positive change. We’re delighted to be able to help protect our planet, while offering incredible opportunities to amazing young people, like Oscar.”

Leah Galloway, development manager, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, added : “Many of the younger generation who are passionate about the environment are leaving rural areas because of limited access to training, low employment opportunities and high transport costs. With the support of sustainably-conscious businesses, like Cooper King Distillery, we are able to provide opportunities for young people to take their first steps on the path to green careers, ensuring the future of our special landscape is protected for years to come.

“The apprenticeship programme has a profound impact on the young people involved, but also on local communities. Working alongside partners, such as Cooper King, means we are able to deliver long-term, positive impacts for the people, wildlife and landscape of the Yorkshire Dales.”

Cooper King Distillery has been powered by 100 per cent renewable energy since distillation began in 2018.

Cooper King’s Transatlantic Whisky, the second in its Expedition Series, launched on St George’s Day. Find out more at: cooperkingdistillery.co.uk