Chance to adopt a Horsham district red phone box for just £1

One of the phone boxes, in Amberley
One of the phone boxes, in Amberley

Community groups across the Horsham district have the chance to adopt a local BT phone box for just £1 to turn them into something inspirational for their local area.

There are 11 phone boxes in the district available for adoption and BT will also consider adoption requests to house defibrillators in more modern boxes.

Red phone box campaign

Red phone box campaign

Already, more than 780 payphones have been adopted by communities in the South-East since 2008.

A campaign was launched in 2016 to save iconic red telephone boxes in towns and villages throughout Sussex.

Members of Sussex Heritage Trust said at the time that the much-loved K6 public phone box - a distinctive feature of the British landscape for decades - was increasingly under threat.

In this latest move, BT says it will continue to provide electricity (if already in place) to power the light for adopted kiosks, free of charge to communities.

In a statement this week BT say that where electricity is available, adopted boxes can be used as housings for defibrillators – an increasingly popular and potentially life-saving conversion.

Other new ventures include conversions to mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops and information centres.

One payphone in Devon was even turned into the ‘world’s smallest nightclub’.

Commenting on the latest initiative, Katherine Bradley, BT’s Senior Payphones Commercial and Operations Manager, said: “We’re pleased to be giving even more local communities the chance to adopt a phone box.

“With more than 780 payphones already adopted across the South-East, this is a fantastic opportunity for communities to own a piece of history.

“The opportunities are endless and we’ve already seen some amazing transformations. Applying is easy and quick and we’re always happy to speak to communities about adopting our traditional BT red payphone boxes.”

The phone boxes being considered by BT are at the following postcodes:

RH20 4AS (Washington), RH20 1LB (Pulborough), BN18 9NJ (Amberley), BN18 9LR (Amberley), RH13 6LH (Nuthurst), RH14 9NY (Billingshurst), RH14 9RS (Billingshurst), RH13 8PH (Shipley), RH12 3QP (Warnham), RH13 5DX (Horsham), RH12 3LJ (Broadbridge Heath).

Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council town council or parish meeting.

Boxes can also be adopted by registered charities or by individuals who have a payphone on their own land.

BT say that most people now have a mobile phone and calls made from their public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent in the past decade.

BT is also replacing more than 1,000 payphones in major cities across the UK, with new digital hubs called InLinks as part of a joint venture with InLinkUK.

“Each InLink provides ultrafast, free public Wi-Fi, phone calls, device charging and a tablet for access to city services, maps and directions.”

For further details on how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk, go to where application forms and information can be found.

See also: ‘Save our red telephone boxes’

Search across Sussex for best use of redundant red telephone box