Adopt a phone box for just £1 says BT

Borderers are being urged to help transform the existing 77 iconic red phone boxes in the region by “adopting” them for £1.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 1:51 pm
This phone box in Westray now houses a defibrillator.
This phone box in Westray now houses a defibrillator.

British Telecom wants local communities to take advantage of a scheme to help transform the largely outdated pay phone boxes for the 21st century.

Since 2008, a total of 482 phone boxes across Scotland have been taken on by communities for just £1 each through BT’s Adopt a Kiosk programme.

Redundant phone boxes, once a lifeline of communication before the arrival of mobile phone networks, have been transformed into everything from defibrillator units and mini history museums to art galleries and book exchanges.

BT will also consider adoption requests to house defibrillators in modern glass phone boxes, a potentially life-saving conversion.

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

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

“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 across Scotland 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.”