A disused phone box has been transformed by Barnstaple Town Council to be used as a home for a life-saving defibrillator.

The BT phone box in Pilton Street, Barnstaple was adopted by the town council for just £1.

Now repainted, it houses one of a new generation of defibrillators which can be used by any member of the public in an emergency.

Town clerk Will Austin said: “Councillors brought this proposal forward a few months ago after hearing about an innovative scheme that safeguards our traditional red phone boxes.

“We have obtained grant funding for three life-saving defibrillators, two of which will be installed in the town centre.

“Councillors felt strongly that Pilton Street ought to be the third site as it is vulnerable during Green Man Day, when access by emergency services is severely restricted and there are large crowds.

“The defibrillator is safe to use and will not deliver a life-saving shock unless it is needed.

“The first step would always be to call 999, and an emergency service advisor will then be on hand to give step-by-step instructions.”

Mr Austin said the remaining two defibrillators would be installed in the town centre so that one is never more than five minutes away from an incident.

They will be inspected weekly to ensure they are operational.