Bristol Music Trust, the organisation which runs the arts venue Colston Hall in the South West of England, has re-confirmed plans for a change of name for the Hall, originally announced in 2017 as part of the redevelopment of the building.
The latest statement follows the Black Lives Matter protests and the removal of the statue of Edward Colston by protestors in Bristol.
Bristol Music Trust states:
‘We announced three years ago that we would be changing the name as part of the transformation of the Hall, which is currently closed whilst the redevelopment work is taking place. The Hall was built 150 years after Colston died and was not founded with any of his money. The current name does not reflect our values as a progressive, forward-thinking and open arts organisation – we want it to be representative of the city, a beacon of its values of hope, diversity and inclusion.
‘A new name was originally planned to be announced in Spring 2020, following a thorough and in-depth consultation process carried out with over 4,000 people from communities all across the city.
‘However, COVID-19 has had an impact on the timing of our plans, preventing us from being able to carry out our final round of community engagement. The majority of our staff are now furloughed and our focus has temporarily switched to protecting the future of our organisation, as well as supporting our partners, Bristol’s music community, artists, music teachers and others.
‘We understand that the pace of change is important and we are working hard to adapt our plans through the pandemic. We aim to announce a new name that is right for both the Hall and the city in Autumn 2020. There are a number of steps we need to take between now and then, but as a demonstration of our commitment, one of these will be removing the external signage from the building.
‘We will provide further updates on this as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, we will continue to listen and learn and reflect on what more we can do as an organisation to make positive change in our city.’