Red phone box in London goes on sale for £45,000

Several iconic kiosks are on sale in the capital

Clea Skopeliti
Friday 07 May 2021 13:34 BST
The phone box is on sale for £45,000
The phone box is on sale for £45,000 (Mike Quinn/Geograph)
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Five red telephone boxes in London are on the market for up to £45,000 each, with an auction set to take place later this month.

The iconic kiosks – which cover nine square feet – are being billed as offering potential buyers the chance to “run their own business” or use the phone box as an advertising space by property company BidX1.

The ones for sale are located in Bloomsbury, EC2, Chelsea and Waterloo, and the property company has set guide prices between £30,000 and £45,000 for each.

The original K2 phone boxes were designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect known for his work on the Battersea Power Station, the Tate Modern and Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral among other British landmarks.

Their design dates back to 1924. In 2006, the box was voted one of Britain’s top 10 design icons on a list including the Mini and the London tube map.

The advert for the auction, which will take place on 26 May, states that the buyer can resell the kiosk at any time but “cannot remove them or alter the exterior” as it is registered as a Listed Building at Historic England.

Many phone boxes have been transformed from their original purpose, with some becoming coffee shops, while others have been turned into libraries and florists.

The classic phone boxes are also on sale outside the capital, in locations including Nottingham, Bournemouth and Devon. 

Despite 1,700 of the original K2 phone boxes being installed between 1926 and 1935, only about 224 remain in the UK today, according to the listing. 

The auctions come as BT runs a scheme to sell nearly 4,000 of its boxes to local authorities for just £1, as it says the kiosks have been made redundant in recent years by the “phenomenal growth in mobiles”.

The company’s Adopt a Kiosk programme has seen about 800 converted into defibrillators so far in conjunction with the Community Heartbeat Trust charity.

The charity’s national secretary Martin Fagan said: “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.”

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