A DISUSED city centre phone box could be transformed into an 'office pod' complete with a printer, a scanner and Wifi for the public.

Proposals to strip out the red telephone box outside the Covered Market and replace it with the interior of a mini office have been put forward to Oxford City Council.

It is part of a nationwide scheme to convert thousands of defunct but iconic BT kiosks into small self-contained retail outlets, selling ice cream, coffee and other products suited to street sale.

Wifi from the unit would be free for the public but a monthly membership fee would make the box's scanner, printer and copier available 24/7.

Red Kiosk Company stepped in after BT revealed plans to get rid of thousands of disused phone boxes and plans to re-invent the iconic structures all over the country.

Traders in the market welcomed the idea and Gordon Piggott, who runs Bonners Fruit and Veg stall, hoped it would attract more visitors.

He said: "I think it's a good idea, it's much better than it being sat there doing nothing.

"These red phone boxes are iconic and something like this could become a popular attraction with tourists, which would be a positive for traders here.

"We do already have lots of wifi around but it's something quirky and different and we will have to see if it's well used."

Red Kiosk Company - alongside charitable trust Thinking Outside the Box - stepped in after BT revealed plans to get rid of thousands of disused phone boxes.

The firm originally applied for the Market Street box to display adverts on the outside but withdrew the application on the advice of Oxford City Council planners.

But architect Miles Broe said planners were keen on the office idea as it would preserve the heritage of the box.

He said: "We hope it will be well used in Oxford by students, businesses and shoppers.

"It's quite a small area but there will be all the basic facilities of an office, including a phone, inside.

Many of the defunct boxes have been vandalised in the past but there will be CCTV and the boxes will be very secure, with a swipe card entry.

He added that an office pod phone box recently received planning permission near the Shard in London and that the Covered Market box was one of 10 more in the application process.

Thinking Outside the Box will donate a percentage of its earnings from the box to homeless projects around the country.

A decision is due to be made by Oxford City Council by January 9.

To comment on the application go to oxford.gov.uk and search the reference 16/02923/LBC.