HISTORIANS and architects are looking for guidance in designing the future of the Chambers Institution in Peebles.

The 1859 gift from publisher William Chambers, which includes the Burgh Hall, remains one of the town's most treasured buildings.

It has been widely agreed in recent decades that the complex of meeting rooms, galleries and halls, which also houses the town's local authority contact centre, required a makeover and some modernisation.

Scottish Borders Council is working with the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust to bring forward plans for the Chambers Institution's future.

And they want to hear the people of Peeblesshire's opinions.

Following initial discussions, a new consultation has been established on the council’s online Dialogue tool - scotborders.dialogue-app.com - to get the public’s views on some of the key ideas already put forward to date.

Councillor Willie Archibald, chairman of the Chambers Institution Trust, told the Peeblesshire News: “The historic Chambers Institution is a key part of Peebles and it is important for local people to think about what it could be used for and in particular how it can be developed for the future and improved.

“The consultation has been running since September and some recurring ideas have been put forward.

"These are now available for all to see on the Dialogue tool and we would encourage people to have their say on these ideas while also making their own suggestions.

“The trust looks forward to hearing back in March on the findings of the consultation and discussing where we go from there and I would like to thank all those who have taken part in the consultation to date.”

The Scottish Historic Buildings Trust charity saves threatened historic buildings across the country and adapts them for sympathetic, viable new uses in support of local communities.

The Trust has helped to save and bring back to life more than 20 buildings in its 35-year history.

The Chambers Institution houses a museum and gallery and The Chambers Room houses the extraordinary plasterwork friezes commissioned by William Chambers as well as exhibitions on the history of Peebles and the surrounding area.

Following the closure of the public consultation on Thursday, February 11, a report will be taken to the Chambers Institution Trust and also Tweeddale Area Forum in March.