TWO old phone boxes in the centre of Otley are set to be put to good use with plans to install a defibrillator and to create a flexible pop-up space.

Otley Town Council has submitted a listed building application for alterations to the phone boxes on Market Place.

The old kiosks were included in a Buildings at Risk document published by Leeds City Council in 2018 - and rated as being ‘in danger of falling into disrepair’. In 2019 Otley Town Council adopted them from BT.

The listed telephone kiosks are sited within the Otley Conservation Area.

A design and heritage statement from the town council says: "The K6 red telephone kiosks are iconic and popular structures around Britain. Their original purpose

has become redundant in most towns and cities due to the development of mobile phones and improvements in the mobile phone network. BT have removed the telephony equipment from a high percentage of the original kiosks, including the two sited in Market Place, Otley.

"The aim of this proposal is to re-purpose the kiosks to suit modern day needs and requirements without compromising their external appearance on the street scene.

The report says:"The signage on kiosk 2 is currently for Phonecards. This will be changed back to a Telephone sign (the original sign from Kiosk 1 will be repurposed). A lock will be added to the door of kiosk two to ensure that contents are kept secure. "

It adds: "Kiosk 2 will be re-purposed as a flexible ‘pop-up’ space. It is envisaged that the space may be used for a number of purposes over a period of time for display purposes.

It adds: "Public telephone boxes are now out-dated. Over 2000 phone boxes have been adapted for a variety of uses. Planning consent to convert telephone kiosks has been granted in many towns and cities across the country to date.

" Change of use of Kiosk 1 to house a defibrillator will provide a life-saving device for a high traffic area of the town centre.

"Change of use of Kiosk 2 to a flexible pop-up space will present opportunities for local community groups, artists, school children and businesses to contribute to making the kiosk a point of interest in the Market Place and give the kiosk a purpose for its long term future. "