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Buy a red phone box for just £1 in BT's Adopt a Kiosk scheme

Fancy having your own phone box? You can have one for just a £1.

BT is offering residents in the south east exactly that opportunity as it rolls out its Adopt a Kiosk scheme.

The idea has already been successfully pioneered in the north and south west of the country where thousands of traditional red phone boxes have been taken over by local groups and put to good use.

What could you do with your phone box?
What could you do with your phone box?

A red phone box in the Cumbrian village of Loweswater in the Lake District recently became the 3,000th box to be adopted in the UK under the scheme.

It has been fitted with defibrillator equipment, which can help save the lives of heart attack victims, paid for by BT and installed by the Community Heartbeat Trust. The phone box was bought by the trust for just £1 because it was no longer needed as a working payphone.

There have already been some adopted in Kent but now nearly 500 traditional red boxes are available for adoption across the south east.

Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council town council or parish meeting. Boxes can also be adopted by registered charities or by individuals who have a payphone on their own land.

BT will continue to provide electricity (if it is already in place) to power the light for adopted kiosks, free of charge to communities.

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

BT said many other innovative conversions have also taken place - to mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops and information centres.

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

The 3,000th converted phone box - it now houses a defibrillator
The 3,000th converted phone box - it now houses a defibrillator

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

Most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from our public telephones have fallen by around 90% in the past decade.

BT is also replacing more than 1,000 payphones in major cities across the UK, with new digital hubs called InLinks as part of a joint venture with InLinkUK.

Each InLink provides ultrafast, free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging and a tablet for access to city services, maps and directions.

For details on how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk, click here.

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