Newcastle statues have 'no links to slavery or racism' - but two memorials to get information panels

The Lord Armstrong statue in Newcastle city centre Credit: NCJ Media

An investigation of street names and statues in Newcastle found no definitive links to the slave trade, but new information panels will be installed next to two memorials.

Newcastle City Council launched a review of monuments and roads following the wave of anti-racism demonstrations across the globe.

Anti-racism demonstrations in the UK included the topping of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol. Credit: PA

Concerns were raised over both Grey's Monument and the Lord Armstrong memorial outside the Great North Museum: Hancock.

The city council has now confirmed that it will not be removing any monuments, though the authority plans to introduce information panels at both the Armstrong Memorial and the South African (Boer) War Memorial to "widen public interpretation" of them.

The council had also promised to investigate any streets that might have been named after people involved in slavery, including a Colston Street in Benwell - which is not thought to be connected to the Bristol merchant.

City centre route Blackett Street was also the subject of a review as it was named after John Erasmus Blackett, a prominent businessman and four-time Lord Mayor of Newcastle who had served an apprenticeship under major Liverpool slave trader Foster Cunliffe.

A council spokesperson said that their review "concluded that no statues had any links to slavery or racism and therefore none needed to be removed".

They added: "We also investigated a couple of street names but were unable to establish a definitive link with slavery, so no names were changed."