Iconic red phone boxes go up for adoption - for just £1 each

Phone boxes across England are being converted for re-use by local communities. 

Phone boxes across England are being converted for re-use by local communities. - Credit: BT

More than 300 iconic red phone boxes across the East of England are up for adoption for just £1. 

BT is making its traditional red phone boxes available so that local communities can transform them to fit in with the 21st century.  

Currently, there are around 40 phone boxes up for grabs in Suffolk with the most being located in the Suffolk Coastal area (16). 

Other places in Suffolk that have phone boxes up for adoption are Babergh (13), Ipswich (1) and Mid-Suffolk (8). 

Since 2008, a total of 907 phone boxes have been taken on by communities through BT’s Kiosk programme. 

Some phone boxes across the UK have been turned into history boxes. 

Some phone boxes across the UK have been turned into history boxes. - Credit: BT


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The redundant phone boxes have been transformed into everything from defibrillator units and mini history museums to art galleries and book exchanges.  

BT's Enterprise unit director for the East of England, Jon Pollock, 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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“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. 

“Thousands of communities have already come up with a fantastic array of ideas to re-use their beloved local phone box.  

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

BT will continue to provide electricity, if it is already in place, to power the light for adopted phone boxes, free of charge. 

BT will also consider adoption applications to house life saving defibrillators. 

BT will also consider requests to adopt more modern glass boxes to home life saving defibrillators. 

BT will also consider requests to adopt more modern glass boxes to home life saving defibrillators. - Credit: BT

Martin Fagan, National Secretary for the Community Heartbeat Trust charity, said: “BT’s phone box kiosks are iconic British structures, and repurposing for this life saving use has given them a new lease of life. To date, we have converted about 800 ourselves, with another 200 in the pipeline.

“Placing the equipment in the heart of a community is important to save on time. Kiosks are historically at the centre of the community, and thus great locations for defibrillators.”

Communities can only adopt a phone box if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council or town council.  

The boxes can also be adopted by registered charities or by individuals who have a payphone on their own land. For details, visit the website

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