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Tuxedo to go


IT HAS been a sight on the Tyne for more than 25 years but the river’s floating nightclub is closing.


The Tuxedo Princess will up anchor after Christmas to make way for a £10m office and restaurant development.


Her owner, Absolute Leisure, today unveiled plans to replace the boat on Gateshead’s Hillgate Quay.


The company has been in negotiations with Gateshead Council for more than a year over the future of the site.


In her heyday, the Tuxedo Princess was a celebrity haunt and revellers crammed the revolving dance floor.


But the council has made no secret of its wish to move the converted ferry from the site, which forms part of the Gateshead Quays regeneration area, in favour of more family- orientated leisure attractions.


The venue also came under fire in recent years for promoting binge drinking with its all-you-can-drink offers.


Absolute Leisure will put in a planning application to build four restaurants and office space on the land which they rent from the council.


Gateshead Council deputy leader Ian Mearns said: "I think the boat has had its day. It has started to look tired in the context of the new developments going on. So from the council’s perspective, this is a very positive development.


"Council officers have been in negotiations with the owners of the boat to secure a development which will facilitate the removal of the boat and develop a project on the quayside that will link in with other projects in that area."


Absolute Leisure chairman Michael Quadrini said: "I’m excited about the future development of the Gateshead site and would like to thank everyone for their help. If all goes to plan the boat won’t be moving until after Christmas."


Plans for the site, which will be renamed Princess Quay, could be passed this year with construction expected to begin four months after final permission. Work will take a year to complete.


A number of alternative moorings are being considered for the Tuxedo Princess away from the Tyne.


The Princess Quay will be between the Tyne Bridge and Swing Bridge, opposite the Hilton Hotel on Bottle Bank and close to the Baja Beach Club and Buffalo Joe’s.


It is close to an area between The Sage Gateshead music centre and the Baltic art gallery, which will be developed into more than 300 homes, restaurants, bars, a hotel and cinema.


Graham McDarby, architectural director at project designer RyderHKS, said: "The proposed materials and detailing are inspired by the industrial heritage of the area where the Tuxedo Princess is currently moored.


"The high-quality sustainable building is stepped down from the Tyne Bridge tower towards the Swing Bridge and the scale retains key views of Newcastle from Bottle Bank."


The company say there will be a number of special parties and events on the Tuxedo Princess over the Christmas period.


Absolute Leisure managing director Tony Knox said: "Although Absolute Leisure will always operate leisure venues, we’re also investing into prestige landmark projects, which show our confidence in the local economy."


Coun Mearns added: "In terms of the overall development on the Gateshead side of the river, and the planned redevelopment of Gateshead town centre, this is very exciting. It is part of many hundreds of millions of pounds being spent in that area."


Tynesiders give a mixed reaction to the end of the Tuxedo Princess.


Mark Railton, 26, a building society worker, from Gateshead, said: "I think it’ll be a shame to see it go. The boat is an institution."


Jill Watkins, 46, a delivery worker, of Walker, said: "I always worry about my daughter going to the Tuxedo. It’s quite far from the city centre and people have to walk back across the bridge after they’ve been drinking."


Diane Stevenson, 32, a restaurant manager, of Gateshead, said: "It’s probably time to get rid of it with all the improvements that have been made to the Quayside."


Ellie Lloyd, 21, a waitress from Dunston, Gateshead, said: "I stopped going because it was getting full of drunk idiots. I’m not bothered about it closing."


My abiding memory of 'the boat' will be going to the toilet whilst it was listing at such an angle that all the piss drained to one end of the urinal and spashed on to the floor. Classy.

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Would be more interesting to see it sank, preferably full of dirty students

shirley you mean the pikey bastards who I remember going in it. Never thought of the Boat as a student hangout, it's fucking rank. I thought the students would be going to stuff around the central station and the Gate, those kinds of bars? Not piss filled charver-magnets like the boat

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  • 3 years later...
Mark Railton, 26, a building society worker, from Gateshead, said: "I think it’ll be a shame to see it go. The boat is an institution."

Where do these people come from?!?!?!!??! A fucking institution, in it's heyday if you could call it that, it was an eye sore full of absolute Scochwaad's and it's got even worse down the years not that I've been for a good 8 year mind, but with the Quay looking better every year and that shitey boat oh dear. An institution :lol:

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Guest alex
Would be more interesting to see it sank, preferably full of dirty students

The correct terminology is scuttled I believe, which seems appropriate.

Edited by alex
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I think the one sinking in boro is the Royale, not the Princess. The latter ended up in Greece or something like that.


Not that it makes much difference like, they were both Docked on the Tyne and bursting at the portholes with slack bints at one time or another.

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