How to request permission to paint an Openreach cabinet with art

So, you want to paint one of our cabinets? 

Brilliant - but our cabinets are an important part of our network. They house critical national infrastructure that keeps the UK connected, so we have a few guidelines and a process that we ask artists to follow. 

Firstly, we need to make sure we’re giving permission to paint on cabinets that we own – there’s a number of network providers out there and it’s a common misconception that Openreach are responsible for all of the cabinets that you see on streets across the UK. You can find information about our cabinets and images of the various types below. 

Secondly – we need to keep a record of the cabinets that have been painted in case there are any issues with these cabinets in the future, such as any vandalism or damage, or any complaints made against the artwork itself.

And thirdly, although we don’t need to see your design in advance, we do have some simple guidelines which we need you to follow, especially if you don't want your artwork to be painted over.

  • The artwork needs to be relevant to, and for the benefit of, the local community so your design should reflect that either through the subject matter or style.
  • We don't want to be divisive, so designs can't include anything offensive or anything which could be seen (even inadvertently) as offensive. This includes anything political, allegiances to specific sporting teams, or  anything with a religious context.
  • To reduce the chance of vandalism or deterioration, we need you to paint directly onto the cabinet with weather-proof paint. We can't have anything that's applied indirectly, like stickers, photographs, or adhesive vinyl.
  • The design can't be unduly distracting to passing traffic or cause a health and safety risk to the public and, due to local planning rules, we can’t allow any third-party advertising or promotion. This covers both commercial advertising as well as arts, charitable and community projects, and it includes social media handles and web addresses. 
  • If your artwork is graffitied or defaced and you don't want to redo your artwork, please let us know via our damage reporting process and we'll arrange for the cabinet to be painted back to green. The approval for each design will be in place for two years from the date the agreement is signed. After that, you can apply to extend permission for a further two years by re-submitting this request form. During that period, we need you to keep the artwork in good condition so it doesn’t become tired or unsafe. And we always maintain the right to repaint the cabinet if that's needed.
  • Our cabinets are crucial for serving our customers so maintaining their operational integrity is vital. We follow a strict set of health and safety guidelines, so the cabinet number always needs to be visible in the right position, and the vents and doors can't be blocked. 
  • We’re unlikely to grant permission for cabinets with existing Openreach marketing materials on them, and we reserve the right to paint our cabinets if we need use them for marketing in the future.
  • Complaints about graffiti or anything offensive will always be taken seriously and acted upon.

What's a complaint?

We'll always consider complaints about cabinet  artwork from elected officials on behalf of the community they represent, for example a local councillor or MP, and we’ll consider issues raised by members of the public – particularly if it relates to anything offensive or a breach of the guidelines above.

What's not a complaint?

A subjective or personal opinion on a piece of artwork which an individual takes exception to. 

How do I request permission?

If you’re a member of a Registered Charity, Local Council, Business Improvement District, Arts Council England or part of a local art community looking to paint our cabinets, please request permission using this form. 

Request Permission

What happens next

Once your request comes in, we’ll get back to you in fifteen working days.

During that time, we’ll check the cabinets specified belong to us, ant that they're not already painted or included in any future marketing campaigns. We'll also fully assess your application fully and either approve, reject or give feedback on your request.

Identifying our cabinets

While many of the cabinet out there belong to Openreach, some do belong to other companies.  Take a look at the gallery below - if the cabinet you'd like to paint looks like one of these, it's probably ours.

Openreach cast iron cabinet
Openreach cast iron 2 type cabinet
Openreach cast iron 3 type cabinet
Openreach GRP cabinet
Openreach steel cabinet
Openreach cabinet type GRP 3
Openreach GRP 2 cabinet
Openreach aluminium cabinet
Openreach cabinet type Steel 2
Openreach cabinet type Steel 3
Openreach cabinet type Steel 4
Openreach DSLAM cabinet
Openreach DSLAM 2 type cabinet
Openreach DSLAM 1 type cabinet
Openreach DSLAM and PCP cabinet
Openreach cabinet type Steel 5
Openreach Gfast cabinet