"Communication hubs" including defibrillators and phone charging ports are set to be installed at three spots in Bury town centre.

Planning permission is being sought to put the hubs at Haymarket Street and outside The Rock Shopping Centre and Mill Gate Shopping Centre.

The units offer free calls to landlines and range of functions that include free Wi-Fi, a 32-inch touch screen with access to local webpages, a publicly accessible defibrillator and both USB and wireless device charging ports.

Communications firm JCDecaux said the hubs were designed to replace old-style enclosed call boxes and said their inclusion of a publicly accessible defibrillator in the unit design is "unique".

They have already established a network in Manchester city centre last and collaborated with Greater Manchester Police and the mayor’s office who regularly use the advertisement screens to promote safety campaigns and the mayor’s homelessness charity campaign by providing the means to make donations using a QR code on screen.

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A communications hub

A communications hub

The planning application for the three sites said: “We have been surveying the centre of Bury to identify suitable locations and identified three potential sites in the busiest and most suitable thoroughfares where people or most likely to see and use the hub facilities offered.

“The traditional role of the phone box is ill equipped for the modern digital environment.

"The multifunctional hub unit has been designed to bring this public service up to date and present the next generation of communication provision that gives more to the public and can contribute to the vitality of city and town centres.

“As this project is driven by the mayor’s ‘heart-safe’ campaign with the aim of extending the provision of defibrillators, as part of this proposal, JCDecaux will supply up to three additional solo defibrillator units for the council to determine the most suitable locations.”

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The units also have in built CCTV cameras which will supplement the town centre’s camera coverage.

JCDecaux said the units have undergone rigorous testing in extreme conditions and have 13.5mm thick anti-vandal toughened safety laminated glass on all glazed surfaces.

The plans will now be considered by the council’s planning department.