BT rings changes with £1 phone box adoption scheme

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Phone giants BT are offering up for “adoption” more of their iconic red phone boxes for community use – for just £1.

The Adopt A Kiosk scheme means another 3,683 of the phone boxes across England can be adopted by communities to put them to good use. Hundreds more are up for adoption in Scotland and Wales.

Instantly recognisable, the classic General Post Office phone box, designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, has become a symbol of Britain.

Already, more than 5,800 payphones have been adopted by communities since 2008.

As mobile phone use has grown, demand for public telephone boxes has fallen with calls made from BT phone boxes having plunged by around 90% in the past decade.

Old boxes have been brought back to life by being converted into mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops and information centres.

One payphone in Devon was even turned into the “world’s smallest nightclub”.

Westbury book exchange
A red BT telephone box in the Somerset village of Westbury-Sub-Mendip is full of books after villagers transformed the phonebox they bought off BT for £1 into a library and book exchange. (Ben Birchall/PA).

Where electricity is available, adopted boxes can be used as housing for defibrillators – an increasingly popular and potentially life-saving conversion.

Katherine Bradley, BT’s senior payphones commercial and operations manager, said: “We’re pleased to be giving even more local communities the chance to adopt a phone box.

“With more than 5,800 payphones now adopted across the UK, this is a fantastic opportunity for communities to own a piece of history.

“The opportunities are endless and we’ve already seen some amazing transformations.

“Applying is easy and quick and we’re always happy to speak to communities about adopting our traditional BT red payphone boxes.”

Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council, town council or a registered charity.

Details on how to apply to Adopt A Kiosk can be found at where application forms are available.

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