A WELL-KNOWN Cumnock shopkeeper has issued a rallying cry to save thousands of jobs by choosing to shop local.

Selfless Marion Gilliland was crowned Scotland’s High Street Hero last year thanks to her tireless work throughout the town.

Marion goes to extraordinary lengths to help anyone she can, having run her family gift shop - Presents and Correct - in Cumnock for more than 30 years.

READ MORE: Cumnock shopkeeper is named Scotland's High Street Hero

Marion Gilliland was named the nation’s High Street Hero after Scotland Loves Local Awards judges heard how she had not only made her Townhead Street store a safe place for all, but has helped secure tens of thousands of pounds of improvements for other businesses, goes above and beyond to meet customers’ needs, champions charitable causes and much more.

It’s work she has done individually as well as being a leading light in Cumnock Business Association, of which she is a former chairperson.

Marion’s mum, Isabel Gilliland, worked in the same shop building before her family took over the business - and she served her first customer there aged just eight years old.

On running a successful local business, Marion said: “It’s all about being a decent human being. It’s that simple. If you’re decent with people they’re going to come back to you.

"That’s what we try to do here. People are going to remember a good person and good service.”

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She is now backing the campaign’s calls for people to unlock potentially millions of pounds worth of spending in their region by thinking local first and backing businesses of all kinds in their community this summer.

It comes as leaders of the Scotland Loves Local campaign - backed by the Scottish Government - say the need for everyone to choose local is as great as when the country emerged from its first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.

The popular Marion added: “I wouldn’t have been in business here for 35 years without local support. It’s the lifeblood of businesses like mine.

“It’s customer service that makes all the difference. We know our customers personally and go above and beyond to help them. We’re all part of each other’s lives.

“It’s so important that people choose local. It keeps our communities vibrant, keeps businesses alive and protects jobs. None of us wants to see more empty buildings in town centres.

"If everyone chooses local more often we may even be able to bring more businesses of all kinds back into our high streets.”