More than 500 iconic red phone boxes across London are up for grabs, as BT urges communities to give them a new lease of life.  

Since 2008, 88 phone boxes across the London area have been taken on by locals for just £1 each through the company's 'Adopt a Kiosk' programme.  

Once a lifeline of communication, the arrival of mobile phone networks has left many phone boxes without use. 

Since BT’s regeneration scheme, the tiny payphone boxes have been transformed into mini-history museums art galleries and book exchanges. 

Wandsworth Times: An old phone box is transformed into a mini history museum An old phone box is transformed into a mini history museum

Jon Pollock, BT Enterprise unit director for London, 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 London 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.” 

Areas in south-east London with boxes to adopt include, Bexley (2) Bromley (4), Greenwich (14), Lewisham (19) and Southwark (12).

In the south-west this extends to Merton (3), Lambeth (6), Hammersmith and Fulham 5, Wandsworth (4) and Richmond upon Thames (5).  

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

Wandsworth Times: Glass defibrillator boxesGlass defibrillator boxes

The Community Heartbeat Trust charity is working with BT and local communities to install life-saving defibrillators from Aberdeen to Plymouth.  

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.”