Harrogate Turkish Baths Main Reason Behind Council Overspend of £373,000 for the Quarter

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Harrogate Borough Council has reported that due to it's inability to find therapists to work at the Harrogate Turkish Baths, it is "significantly below budget" this year.

The council-run venue in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, is described as "Britain's most fully-restored Victorian Turkish Baths". Although Turkish Baths were common in Victorian times, only seven remain which date back to the 19th century, with that in Harrogate being the most complete and in full working order.

But the number of empty treatment rooms in the building has prompted concerns over a loss of revenue.

Harrogate Borough Council is now planning a recruitment drive.

An update on the council's financial position showed empty therapy rooms at the Parliament Street baths had seen a serious loss in income.

The report to the overview and scrutiny committee pinpointed an income shortfall at the baths as one of the keys reasons behind a forecasted council overspend of £373,000 for the quarter, said the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Part of the loss of income stems from the vacant therapist positions, the report said.

"This forecast reflects a shortfall of income of £295,000 because the facility was closed for 10 weeks for refurbishment rather than the budgeted four weeks, together with a significant underperformance in massage and beauty income due to the inability to recruit therapists," the report states.

Therapists can earn about £18,000 a year at the baths.