Colston Hall in Bristol announces new name as part of its major restoration project

The Bristol music venue is currently undergoing major restorations and, as part of its redevelopment project, it has announced a change of name so as to distance itself from associations with slave trader Edward Colston

Colston Hall in Bristol announces new name as part of its major restoration project

Bristol’s Colston Hall has today announced its new name as part of its major £50 million redevelopment. The name was announced in a livestream event hosted by Louise Mitchell, chief executive of Bristol Music Trust, who was joined by Bristol’s Mayor, Marvin Rees.

Advertisement

As part of her speech, Mitchell acknowledged the current struggles faced by the arts industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The team behind Colston Hall no longer feels as though its name reflect its values, it said in its statement. ‘We know that our current name, that of the slave trader Edward Colston, means that not everyone has felt welcome or that they belong in their city’s concert hall. And if we can’t share the joy of live music with everyone, something must change.’

The venue announced its decision to change its name before the Black Lives Matter protests in the city earlier this year and the toppling of the statue of slavetrader Edward Colston. No money from Edward Colston has ever funded the venue.

Mitchell acknowledged the work of Bristol-based historian David Olusoga, who has helped spearhead the efforts to reassess the city’s history and its slave trading past.

She also announced that there is not yet a new logo for the hall, but it is in the process of being created.

Colston Hall will hereby be known as Bristol Beacon.

Advertisement

The reopening of Colston Hall has been delayed until 2021. The renovation project has been underway since 2017.