01 November 2017

Work to scrap derelict floating nightclub Tuxedo Royale to begin in weeks

Work to dismantle the ship is set to begin in November after Middlesbrough Council hands over up to £400,000

The days are numbered for former floating nightclub Tuxedo Royale - with the scrapping of the rusting vessel to begin within weeks.

Work will start in November after Middlesbrough Council issued grant of up to £406,000 to Able UK for its dismantling.

The council has said moving the severely fire-damaged ship from its berth near the site of the proposed snow centre is key to the regeneration of the “strategically important” area of Middlehaven.

Able UK has now confirmed work to dismantle the ship is scheduled to begin next month.

A spokesman said: “We expect that work will begin in November on dismantling the superstructure of the vessel where it is currently sited at Middlesbrough.

“After the work on removing the superstructure is completed we will consider the options for removal and recycling of the hull with a view to completing the work by next spring.”

A maximum grant of £406,000 will be paid by the council to Able UK to complete the work.

Minutes from a recent meeting said: “A confidential executive property sub-committee report approved a maximum contribution of £406,000 for the dismantling and removal of the Tuxedo Royale from the River Tees.

“Removal of the ship, particularly given its current degraded state, is essential to ensuring that the regeneration of the Middlehaven area continues, the value of the council’s land assets in the area are protected and to protect the local environment.

“The original approved executive report on the Middlehaven relief road did not include provision for the removal of the ship and therefore this investment is over and above that agreed in May 2016.”

Middlesbrough Council again confirmed that while proposals have been put forward by groups of enthusiasts, none have been able to find the money needed to secure, move and restore the vessel.

The £406,000 will come from the council’s capital spending budget.

The party boat was known for its revolving dance floor and was docked on the Tyne before moving to Teesside.

However, it has been in a state of severe disrepair for a number of years.

The ship - formally known as the TSS Dover and later renamed the Earl Siward and then the Sol Express - was moved to Able UK’s Middlesbrough port back in 2009.

Its owners went into administration shortly after, leaving it with no legal owner - and therefore nobody to take responsibility for its maintenance or removal.

A regular target for vandals, the vessel, which is listing and partly resting on the riverbed, is deemed by the Environment Agency to constitute ‘controlled waste’.

It was badly damaged by fire in June while docked on the river.

Source: gazette live. 22 OCT 2017

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