Page last updated at 08:01 GMT, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 09:01 UK

Village buys red phone box for 1

telephone box
Towns and villages can keep phone boxes - even if they have no function

A Cumbrian village has become the first in the county to take ownership of its redundant red phone box.

BT disconnected the old kiosk in Loppergarth near Ulverston and agreed to sell it to Pennington Parish Council for £1.

The move is part of a scheme in which local councils can "adopt" red telephone boxes which BT say are no longer viable.

The phone box is to be used as a tourist information booth.

Julie Dawes, vice chairwoman of Pennington Parish Council, said: "Our red telephone box is a significant part of our community and is part of its overall identity and heritage."

John Lumb, general manager of BT Payphones, said: "BT listened to the views of local communities and we're delighted with the tremendous response we've had following the launch of the Adopt a Kiosk scheme."

There were about 95,000 BT payphones across the UK in 2002.

However, the growth of the mobile phone has meant usage has dropped dramatically, and 31,000 have been removed since then.

BT previously said almost 60% of its UK payphones were unprofitable with about 6,000 used to make less than one call a month.

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The booth will be maintained by volunteers

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