Leading business woman Dr Abbie Neilson from Yorkshire’s Cooper King Distillery supports Women in Engineering Day

ONE of Yorkshire’s leading female business leaders is calling on more women to take up careers in engineering.

Dr Abbie Neilson is pictured with her co-founder Chris Jaume at the North Yorkshire distillery.

Dr Abbie Neilson, the joint founder of Cooper King Distillery is a scientist turned distiller, who, alongside her partner, architect Chris Jaume, has set up production facilities for gin and whisky.

She is solely responsible for the distilling process and her science background enables her to test, tweak and refine the distillation process to obtain the best flavour from each of the gin botanicals.The pair had the idea as they toured whisky distilleries in Tasmania as part of a global trip.

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A Cooper King spokesman said: “Earning money from fruit-picking while backpacking in Tasmania, they visited all eight operational whisky distilleries and fell in love with craft whisky and the idea of starting their own in England.

“Since their return, they have transformed an old stable on family land into a stunning Yorkshire attraction comprising a distillery, bar and outdoor area.”

Dr Nielson and Mr Jaume were inspired to set up their own business after studying the work of Bill Lark, who is known as the godfather of Tasmanian whisky. They returned to the UK determined to establish a gin and whisky business of their own which would appeal to a global audience.​

The Cooper King Distillery secured partnership agreements with more than 60 outlets across the country within its first three months of trading.

Based in Sutton-on-the-Forest, North Yorkshire, the start-up gin and whisky distillery released its product, Cooper King Dry Gin, in spring last year and the firm has plans to become a major player in the sector.

International Women in Engineering Day is an international awareness campaign to raise the profile of women in engineering and focus attention on the career opportunities available to girls in this industry.

It celebrates the outstanding achievements of women engineers throughout the world and takes place annually on June 23.

Dr Neilson is passionate about promoting a diverse workforce and believes her story will raise awareness of the different types of engineering roles women can get involved with.