STEPS need to be taken to tackle the “scruffy” exterior appearance at a museum dedicated to the work of a legendary Scottish writer.

The John Buchan Story Museum is based at Tweeddale Museum and Art Gallery in Peebles High Street.

Buchan, whose maternal grandparents lived in Broughton, was a politician, historian and a novelist, with his most famous novel, The Thirty Nine Steps, published in 1915.

Trustees at the museum this week issued an appeal to members of the council’s Chambers Institution Trust to help improve signage and tackle other issues outside the building.

Ian Buckingham, one of the trustees of the museum,  said: “The main issue we have concerns the building’s exterior. We appreciate this is a listed building, so we cannot have inappropriate signage.

“However, this limits our ability to promote on the street. The windows and pavement frontage are often dirty and difficult to clean. Ideally we would like the two promotional windows replaced with large modern glass for signage.”

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Committee chair Robin Tatler, a councillor for Tweeddale East, said: “I think what Ian is talking about is it looks really scruffy, the exterior bit where the museum is, and there’s those railing outside. Could we take those railings off, for example, and just make it a little bit more attractive there?”

Tweeddale West councillor Drummond Begg added: “From memory is there not a bench right in front of the sign? So there may actually be some immediate things that can be done to improve signage. The answer is yes, let’s try and improve signage but there may be shorter term things that can be done.”

The council’s estates and planning departments are to be consulted over the issues raised and a report taken back to a trust meeting at a later date.

The museum, which is closed during the winter months, is to reopen on April 1.