A TELEPHONE box in Forden has been turned into a library book-exchange for the local community.

Forden Community Council bought the telephone box for just £1, as part of BT’s ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme.

“The phone box has been part of the village since the 1930s, so we thought we should keep it,” said Richard Dawe, the chair of the community council.

“My wife and I painted it and cleaned it, and I had the idea of turning it into a book exchange,” he said.

It has been up and running for a few weeks now, and so far it has been a success; with local residents donating, borrowing and exchanging books.

Russell George, Welsh Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, has shown his support of the project. He said: “I congratulate Forden Community Council for this initiative and making use of what was a precious phone box.”

The ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme enables local communities to retain its iconic red kiosk.

Local authorities, community councils, charities, and people with a telephone box on their land, are able to purchase the boxes for £1.

BT said: “The growth of the mobile phone industry has inevitably meant phone box usage has dropped dramatically, and nearly half of the phone boxes in the UK have been removed, but there are still around 5,000 red phone boxes which can be adopted.”

“I think that it will be a useful thing. It’s good for our community and good for our community council,” said Mr Dawe.

He said that it will particularly benefit the elderly community in the village and will help make up for the reduction of Welshpool’s library service.

There are also plans to put a defibrillator in the Leighton telephone box.