Residents in six villages in the Melton area are being offered the chance to adopt a phonebox for a £1 to turn it into a community asset.
BT has made available kiosks in Redmile, Somerby, Plungar, Ab Kettleby, Saxby and Sproxton and pledges to continue to provide power for them for lighting free of charge.
Where electricity is available, adopted boxes can be used as housings for defibrillators, which is an increasingly popular and potentially life-saving use of them, and other options are conversions to mini-libraries, miniature art museums, cake shops and information centres.
One payphone in Devon was even turned into what has been billed as the world’s smallest nightclub.
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 700 payphones already adopted across the East Midlands, 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.”
Already, more than 700 payphones have been adopted by communities in the East Midlands since 2008 as demand has dropped off with the rapidly increasing numbers of people owning mobile phones. Calls made from BT’s public telephones have fallen by around 90 per cent in the past decade.
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.
For further details on how to apply to adopt a phonebox for £1, go online to www.bt.com/adopt for an application forms and information.