Able UK has confirmed that work is about to start on the dismantling of the derelict former floating nightclub Tuxedo Royale which has been moored at Able Middlesbrough Port for the past eight years.
The vessel, formerly the British Rail Cross- Channel Ferry TSS Dover, was moved to the Able berth in early 2009 for what was supposed to be a maximum of two weeks, but the ship’s owners went into administration shortly after.
The vessel has since continued to deteriorate and was subject to vandalism and a serious fire in June last year. Able UK’s business development director, Neil Etherington says that dismantling is the inevitable conclusion to what he described as a long and sorry saga.
He said: “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 it 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.”