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Bristol Music Trust removes lettering from Colston Hall

Bristol Music Trust, which runs Colston Hall, has “symbolically” removed slave trader Edward Colston’s name from the music venue.

The 2,075-capacity venue removed the lettering yesterday (Monday) after announcing it would change its name almost three years ago.

Colston Hall, which is close to the statue of the slave trader that was pulled down during the Black Lives Matter protest and thrown in the harbour last weekend, said it would announce a new name later this year.

A spokesperson for the Bristol Music Trust said: “This is a symbolic moment and a public demonstration of the commitment we made three years ago to change our name.

“The name Colston has been divisive for many years and we have experienced strong views from both sides since our declaration in 2017 that we would be changing.”

Colston Hall, which was built in 1867 – 150 years after the slave traders’ death, was reportedly not “founded with any of his money,” venue officials said.

The music trust added: “We cannot continue to be a monument to his memory.

“We have no wish to forget the past, but when we reopen our redeveloped building as one of the best arts and educational venues in the country, it must be as a place that is welcoming to everyone.”

The venue has hosted music from the likes of Emeli Sandé, Robert Plant and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, as well as comedy from Harry Hill, Jimmy Carr, Ricky Gervais and Billy Connolly.

Image: Bristol Music Trust