BT puts 4,800 red phone boxes up for adoption

Communities are being invited to “adopt” BT’s famous red telephone boxes – as long as they pay £1.

Across England, 3,683 phone boxes are up for grabs as part of the Adopt A Kiosk scheme – and hundreds more are available in Wales and Scotland.

More than 5,800 payphones have been adopted by communities since 2008, and old boxes have been given a new lease of life by being converted into mini-libraries, tiny art museums, information centres, cake shops and even the world’s smallest nightclub in Devon.

The scheme was unveiled in response to the long falling demand for classic phone boxes due to the dramatic growth in mobile phone use.

BT will continue to provide electricity to power the light for adopted kiosks free of charge to communities.

Adopted phone boxes can also be used to house defibrillators, an increasingly popular and potentially life-saving conversion.

The village of Lighthorne, Warwickshire, was one of the first in the UK to adopt its local red telephone box from BT in 2008 in a bid to save it from being scrapped, ensuring it will stay in the village for generations to come.

Coventry has a few of the iconic red telephone boxes left around the city centre, with the most iconic being two near The Quadrant on Warwick Road.

Red telephone boxes outside of The Quadrant on Warwick Road, Coventry.

Katherine Bradley, BT’s senior payphones commercial and operations manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for communities to own a piece of history.”

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

Communities can apply to adopt a kiosk as long as they are a recognised public body such as a parish council, community council, town council or registered charity. Private landowners with the iconic red boxes on their land can also apply.