More communities can adopt a red phone box for just £1

A BT phone box converted into a book exchange

Some of BTs iconic red phone boxes have been transformed into community book exchanges. - Credit: Supplied by BT

BT has announced more of its iconic red phone boxes are available to be adopted by communities, with some located in East Cambridgeshire and Fenland.

Phone boxes were a communication lifeline before the arrival of mobile phone networks, but they are now being transformed into a range of new and exciting uses.

Some now store life-saving defibrillator equipment, house mini museums, offer local information and have even become book exchanges.

A phone box which now stores a defibrillator unit.

The phone boxes can be adopted by communities for just £1. - Credit: Supplied by BT

History box kiosk

Some phone boxes have been transformed into mini museums to share local heritage. - Credit: Supplied by BT

Eight have become available in East Cambridgeshire and there is also one in Fenland for the community to adopt.

Jon Pollock, BT Enterprise unit director for the East of England, said: “With most people now using mobile phones, it’s led to a huge drop in the number of calls made from payphones.


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“At the same time, mobile coverage has improved significantly in recent years due to investment in masts, particularly in rural areas.”

He added: “We’re currently rationalising our payphone estate to make it fit for the future, and the ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme makes it possible for local communities in the East of England to retain their local phone box, with a refreshed purpose for the community.”

This phone box was turned into a history box

These redundant phone boxes were once a lifeline of communication before the arrival of mobile phones. - Credit: Supplied by BT

View inside book exchange phone box

Phone boxes have been turned into community assets such as a mini library or book exchange. - Credit: BT

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So far, more than 900 BT phone boxes have already been adopted by communities across the East of England and almost 300 phone boxes are currently available in the region.

Communities can adopt one for just £1 if they are a recognised public body such as a parish council, community council or a town council.

Registered charities and individuals who have a payphone on their land are also eligible.

BT will even consider requests to house defibrillators in its more modern glass phone boxes.

A more modern glass phone box which has been converted into a defibrillator

BT will also consider requests to adopt more modern glass boxes. - Credit: Supplied by BT

The Community Heartbeat Trust charity is working with BT and local communities to install lifesaving defibrillators in phone boxes.

Martin Fagan, from the charity, said: “Placing the equipment in the heart of a community is important to save on time [in an emergency].

“Kiosks are historically at the centre of the community, and thus great locations for defibrillators.”

For further details on how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk, visit the BT website where application forms and information can be found.

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