Frodsham ‘phone box up for grabs – for just £1!

AN iconic red ‘phone box in Main Street, Frodsham, is up for grabs by a local community group who can put it to a new use.
It is one of 27 in Cheshire West and 183 across the North West being made available by BT to local initiatives to transform them for the 21st century.
Since 2008, a total of 451 phone boxes across the region have already been taken on by communities for just £1 each through BT’s “Adopt a Kiosk” programme.
Redundant phoneboxes, 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.
Sarah Walker, BT Enterprise unit director for the North of England, 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 in the North West  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.
”From Aberdeen to Plymouth, the Community Heartbeat Trust charity is working with BT and local communities to install lifesaving defibrillators in local kiosks.
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.”
As part of plans to modernise its payphone estate, over 400 payphones across towns and cities have also been upgraded by BT to digital units, called Street Hubs, offering free ultrafast publicWi-Fi, free UK phone calls, USB device charging, environmental monitoring and more. BT’s Street Hubs also play a vital role in sharing public information, for example during the Covid-19 pandemic Street Hub units across the country have displayed key advice from Public Health England and local councils.
Street Hubs form part of BT’s plan to transform the UK’s high streets with a digital communications service designed for the 21st century.
Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council or town council. 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 already in place) to power the light for adopted phone boxes, free of charge. For further details on how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk, go to www.bt.com/adopt where application forms and information can be found.

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