21st century twist for iconic red box

An iconic red phone box in Preston is set to be turned into a mini work station by Bar Works inc (New York)
An iconic red phone box in Preston is set to be turned into a mini work station by Bar Works inc (New York)
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AN iconic Preston phone box is about to be brought into the 21st century with plans to turn it into a quirky work station.

The transformation will see it include Wifi, a printer and scanner, a wireless mouse, a 25 inch screen, a hot drinks machine and a powerbank of plugs.

Phone boxes on Market Street, Preston

Phone boxes on Market Street, Preston

The scheme is the brainchild of New York-based company Bar Works Inc which plan to convert several unused phone boxes around the UK.

‘Pod Works’ will be launched in many places including London, Edinburgh and Norwich but a box in Preston has also been targeted.

For a fee of £19.99 a month, people can become a member of the Pod Works club giving members 24 hour access using an app on their phone.

And one of the phone boxes outside the former post office in Market Street, Preston, will be the first in the city to get the treatment and could be available for use within six weeks.

Aidan Turner-Bishop, chairman of the Preston and South Ribble civic trust in one of the iconic phone boxes in the centre of Preston that a charity wants to convert into kiosks selling coffee, drinks and ice cream.

Aidan Turner-Bishop, chairman of the Preston and South Ribble civic trust in one of the iconic phone boxes in the centre of Preston that a charity wants to convert into kiosks selling coffee, drinks and ice cream.

The company says the change is aimed at entrepreneurs who are looking for affordable convenient work space in attractive locations.

Bar Works CEO Jonathan Black said: “Entrepreneurs and others constantly on the move need a convenient, affordable and private place to work.

“Why should they sit in Starbucks or any other coffee bar when using one of our Pods will allow them to truly focus on their job before an important meeting or presentation at less than the price of two cups of coffee a week.”

Pod Works intends to grow a network across the UK starting in London, Leeds and Edinburgh but a membership will also allow access to Bar Works locations across the globe including station in New York and San Francisco.

The company says that unlike other providers who charge extra for internet connection and copying, for instance, Bar Works membership is all inclusive.

In addition members are able to use any of the company’s locations at no extra charge.

In 2014, the phone boxes were going to be turned into coffee bars and ice cream kiosks.

It meant the external appearance of the boxes would have been virtually unaltered, but the inside transformed with some of the profits being donated to local charities.

Despite enthusiasm from Aidan Turner-Bishop, chairman of the Preston and South Ribble Civic Trust at the time, and plans going to Preston City Council, it never materailised, and Bar Works Inc will be hoping they have more success.