Communities are being asked to “adopt” their local red phone box for just £1 and turn it into a mini library, gallery or even a tiny shop.
Phone boxes have largely fallen out of use because of the shift to mobile phones but the Adopt a Kiosk scheme, set up by phone giant BT, hopes to inject new life into the iconic British symbols.
BT is putting 3,683 of its kiosks, which have fallen from use in the mobile era, up for “adoption” by communities at £1 a time.
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Some 5,800 payphones have already been transformed in the last decade, with examples including one at Warley, near Halifax, which in 2016 became one of the world’s smallest walk-in museums.
Another, at Horbury, near Wakefield, has become a mini art gallery, and in Settle, a box was converted for use at last year’s local history festival.
Across East Yorkshire, where the phone boxes are traditionally cream – harking back to the days when Hull was the only city to have its own telephone service – village boxes have been turned into tourist information centres.
BT will continue to provide electricity to power the light for adopted kiosks, free of charge to communities.
“The opportunities are endless and we’ve already seen some amazing transformations,” said Katherine Bradley at BT.