Plans to transform Armley’s eyesore telephone boxes into community book swaps have been rescued by a Town Street shop.
Concerns about the idea to transform the vandalised boxes into book swaps championed by the All Together Armley (ATA) group were raised by local police.
And ATA say there was ‘a flat refusal’ from British Telecom to support the proposal because of concerns about anti-social behaviour.
But the St George’s Crypt Shop on Town Street has stepped in to the rescue the idea.
People are now able to drop off a book at the shop while taking another home.
The Crypt’s Linda Meyers said:
“We saw how much the community supported this idea and wanted to help make it happen.
“We are proud to offer backing to the community in which we work and this is just a way of showing our appreciation for the support we receive from the people of Armley.”
Glenn Broadbent, of All Together Armley, added:
“We know some people in our community can hardly afford to put food on the table at the end of the week let alone buy a book. We hope this swap shop will open up the joys of reading to families and, in particular, young children.”
The Crypt will also be promoting the services offered by Armley Library.
The original idea came about after community group All Together Armley asked people how they thought the phone boxes could be used as a community asset.
The group held a public consultation asking what local residents wanted to do about the future of the boxes, which suffer from ongoing vandalism and graffiti. 81% of respondents said they wanted the boxes to be retained.