A SMALL distillery has received a grant to enable a young employee to qualify in digital marketing and expand its social media presence.

The Yorkshire Dales Distillery in Colburn has received £1,880 grant from the authority’s apprentice scheme to employ a digital marketer.

Luke Brotherton will gain a Level 3 digital marketer qualification as a result of it with the grant paying for a workstation and appropriate software to enable him to run the business’ social media accounts and marketing initiatives.

The company – owned by Luke’s parents Sarah and Tony – specialises in dry gins and vodka which are created and developed by them at the distillery.

The apprentice scheme has supported 12 apprenticeships since its launch in April this year – granting them a total of £18,650. The scheme still has £11,350 to allocate with businesses able to apply for up to £2,000 per apprenticeship. Apprentices can be existing employees, of any age, or new members of staff - and can be supported providing their apprenticeship has not already started before approved for grant support.

“This new scheme is a great incentive to local businesses to take on an apprentice when they might not have otherwise been able to afford to do so,” said council leader, Councillor Yvonne Peacock.

“We hope many of them will continue employment with these businesses long after they have finished their apprenticeships.”

Businesses who may be interested in taking on an apprentice or supporting a current member of staff to undertake an apprenticeship, should contact Samantha Coultish on 01748-901037 or Samantha.coultish@richmondshire.gov.uk. The next deadline for applications is 12noon on October 1.