Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Friday, 25 July 2008 13:55 UK

Tyne called on floating nightclub

Tuxedo Princess and Tyne Bridge
The ship returned from Glasgow in 1998

An iconic floating nightclub based on the river Tyne for 15 years is to be towed away at the weekend.

The Tuxedo Princess ship, with its legendary revolving dance floor, is being tugged from its Gateshead mooring to make way for a 10m office complex.

Its owners hope to move the vessel on Sunday, if it is granted the necessary sea-worthy certificates.

The Tuxedo Princess, known locally as "the boat", is being towed into the North Sea and then to a port in Greece.

The ship arrived on the banks of the river in 1981 to be fitted out as a nightclub and its launch party took place two years later.

In 1988 the ship set sail for Glasgow and was replaced by the Tuxedo Royale, but it returned 10 years later.

The boat has been part of Tyneside folklore for many years but it's probably time to move on.
Council leader Mick Henry

The club has had a chequered past and in 2005 it came close to losing its licence, amid police concerns over persistent violence and disorder.

Its former owners Absolute Leisure recently sold the ship to foreign investors.

Plans for the Princess Quay office complex are being put before Gateshead Council.

The scheme, designed by architects Ryder, has involved consultation with the council and English Heritage.

Council leader Mick Henry said: "The boat has been part of Tyneside folklore for many years but the area has changed massively in the past few years and I think it's probably time to move on.

"We have a new vision for the area and this will open the site for further development."



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