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Retail units plan for Preston’s iconic red BT phone boxes

Posted on - 29th October, 2014 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News, Preston City Centre
The phone boxes on Market Street are in need of a lick of paint Pic: Tony Worrall

The phone boxes on Market Street are in need of a lick of paint Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston’s iconic city centre red phone boxes could become mini coffee shops.

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The Red Box Company has tabled plans to convert the BT phone boxes.

The K2 and K6 red phone boxes on Market Street are to have their insides turned into mini retail units.

Plans from Miles Broe Architecture explain how the seven boxes would retain their distinctive red character.

They state: “The concept of a public telephone box is now outdated as the majority of people own a mobile phone. The proposed new use maintains their iconic appearance but re-invents their use to suit the 21st century. The concept of adapting phone boxes to different uses has been adopted throughout the country with over 2000 to date adapted to varied uses.

“This is a scheme to convert a number of disused iconic BT Kiosks into small retail outlets, selling ice cream, coffee and other products suited to street sale. Planning Consent has been granted in many cities to date.”

Two phone boxes in Brighton converted into coffee kiosks

Two phone boxes in Brighton converted into coffee kiosks

The phone box units would be open from 8am to 6pm on weekdays and from 8am to 7pm on Saturdays and 9am to 6pm on Sundays.

The Red Box Company say seven full-time jobs would be created if planning consent is approved.

Brighton, Plymouth and Edinburgh already have phone box retail kiosks.

Eddie Ottewell said: “These iconic red phone boxes are both a great piece of engineering and architecture.

“Our aim is to redefine the usage to suit modern day needs and requirements without compromising their external appearance.”

The full plans are available to view on the Preston City Council website.

Anyone wishing to comment on the plans can do so via the website or by emailing devcon@preston.gov.uk by Friday 14 November quoting reference 06/2014/0791.

What do you think of the idea? What should the kiosks sell? Let us know in the comments below

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