Bristol’s iconic music venue Colston Hall has removed the lettering from the front of the building, after making a commitment to change its name.

The name change follows the tearing down of a statue of Edward Colston by protesters in the city, after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked worldwide protests against racial inequality and police brutality.

Colston has faced increasing scrutiny in Bristol for his role in slave trading through the 19th century. He was Deputy Governor of the Royal African Company, which shipped more African slaves to the Americas than any other institution in history, from 1689-90.

The 2075-capacity venue is operated by Bristol Music Trust, which says it has ‘symbolically’ removed the lettering ahead of the official name change. The Trust announced it would change the name of the venue almost three years ago.

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.”