Trading from a phone box? is it an ingenious idea or madness

Trading from a phone box? is it an ingenious idea or madness

Trading from a phone box? is it an ingenious idea or madness

This week a local man in Blackpool planned to start his business trading from an iconic red telephone box. Craig Brown was looking forward to selling his dog treats from the phone box which is located on the busy Abingdon street in Blackpool. Sadly for Craig the council intervened and stopped him trading before a doggy biscuit was sold, citing planning restrictions.

Speaking to the Blackpool Gazette John Blackledge, director of community and environmental services, said: “For the purposes of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Abingdon Street is designated a prohibited street meaning that the council has no lawful authority to issue a street trading consent along this street. "We therefore stopped the trading activities at this particular location.

Across the country, however, other councils have allowed trading to commence in red telephone boxes. The red kiosk company is behind the innovative concept and has been trading since 2014 and has nearly 50 locations across the country.

The first two self-contained food and beverage kiosks within the shell of these iconic boxes were launched on New Road, near Pavilion Gardens in Brighton in June 2014. 

The concept was conceived by businessmen Eddie Ottewell and Steve Beeken. 

“These iconic red phone boxes are both a great piece of engineering and architecture” commented Eddie, “Our aim is to redefine the usage to suit modern day needs and requirements without compromising their external appearance” 

Red Kiosk began its journey in 2012. Eddie and Steve presented BT the commercial opportunity of developing red phone boxes into retail / advertising / commercial units starting in their home city of Brighton. 

“Once we had their (BT) support the project was under way” commented Eddie.   

“It has been a journey of many twists, turns and obstacles as this had not been done before. We are extremely proud of the project and thank BT and Brighton Council for their support from the outset.

”At the core of Red Kiosk’s strategy is the desire to make a quantifiable and positive impact upon the local community which it serves.

It shows with the examples on the company website that if the right trading concept together with a good location, it could actually be the way forward to utilising redundant iconic phone boxes for years to come.

Image credits: The red kiosk company website


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Trading from a phone box? is it an ingenious idea or madness


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