THE controversial Colston Hall in Bristol has been renamed.

In June, images of Bristol flashed all around the world when protesters pulled down the statue of the local slave-trader Edward Colston, rolled it through the streets and dumped it in the city's harbour.

The protest was applauded - and criticised - around the world.

Branding agency Saboteur has been working with the Colston Hall on a re-branding of the venue, removing the name of the slave trader.

And now the new name has been revealed.

Local schools and creative organisations also took part along with the strategic research consultancy, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre (MHM), and the Bristol Music Trust (BMT), while Bristol’s Mayor, Marvin Rees, took a personal interest in the project.

The rebranded venue will now be known as Bristol Beacon.

Bridgwater Mercury:

PROTEST: The statue of Edward Colston being thrown into Bristol Harbour in June this year

Bosses at the venue say the name was chosen because it describes a focal point, a gathering place and a source of inspiration – a place that will be visible beyond the boundaries of the city – which everyone involved in the project felt encapsulated what this venue means for the city, and set music free.

Andy Boreham, head of marketing at Bristol Music Trust, said: “The more I see ‘set music free’, the more I like it and the more it makes me think that is exactly what this process is doing for us.”

The venue has hosted music legends including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, but this will be its most radical transformation in its 150-year history.

In addition to the big stars and bands, Bristol Beacon hosts a diverse variety of events and education workshops and it was felt that the new name would better represent the content of the shows and performances it puts on for the multicultural audience in Bristol.

Nick Eagleton, of Saboteur, said: “This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This project is about much more than renaming a venue - the conversations around it have been about the identity of the city itself.

"We had to set this great venue free. Free from the murky clouds of a name with a dark history. Free from the assumption that this was exclusively for the white, middle-aged, middle class.

"And we had to allow it to be free to soar like music itself. Free to challenge, provoke and seduce. Free to be the place where everyone in the city could find something that they loved.

Bridgwater Mercury:

“We had to plunge into the heart and soul of Bristol and we did that with a huge collaborative group that spanned the whole community, from schoolchildren to the Mayor himself.

"It was a joy, because Bristolians don’t hold back - if they’ve got something to say, they say it.

"This was a great, inspiring project. What wonderful, uplifting people to work with. And what a start for our new branding studio.

"We feel as if we landed a part in a great blockbuster show. How often do you get the chance to make history? And how often do you make new friends for life?”

The ongoing development of Bristol Beacon’s new identity will be completed towards the end of the year, as Saboteur continues to work with the creative community in the city.