A Hartlepool company is all set to dismantle a derelict floating nightclub which used to be an in-demand venue on Tyneside.
Able UK confirmed that work is about to start on breaking up the Tuxedo Royale which has been moored at its Middlesbrough port for eight years.
The vessel was moved to the Able berth in early 2009 for what was supposed to be a maximum of two weeks - but in August 2010, the ship’s owners went in administration with no-one prepared to take responsibility for its future, said Able.
Since then the vessel has deteriorated further as well as suffering vandalism and a serious fire in June last year.
Able UK’s Business Development Director, Neil Etherington said dismantling was the inevitable conclusion to a long and sorry saga.
He added: “Working with agencies including Middlesbrough Council, the Environment Agency and the Port Authority, we have been seeking a solution to the fate of the Tuxedo Royale for a long time.
From our point of view it has been an expensive process. It has taken up valuable quay space and we have received no payments for its storage. At the same time it has become an ever-deteriorating eyesore which has certainly not enhanced the area’s profile – quite the reverseNeil Etherington
“From our point of view it has been an expensive process. It has taken up valuable quay space and we have received no payments for its storage. At the same time it has become an ever-deteriorating eyesore which has certainly not enhanced the area’s profile – quite the reverse.
“Well-intentioned enthusiasts have, of course, made valiant efforts to save the vessel but this has provided too big an ask, with dismantling and removal the only viable option.
“Now we have the necessary permissions and support, we are in a position to begin the dismantling process and hopefully the work will be completed before summer.”
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor and Executive Member for City Centre Strategy, said: “The Tuxedo Royale has been deteriorating for a considerable period of time, and is now both an eyesore and a potential hazard.
“Unfortunately no viable plans have been put forward to move and restore the vessel, so it is now time to dismantle and remove what remains of it.
“We are pleased to be able to work with Able UK to resolve the issue, and see this as another positive step in the ambitious plans we have for Middlehaven.”