Harrogate Turkish Baths hit by beauty therapist shortage

A report has revealed that Harrogate Borough Council is “significantly below budget” this year due to the beauty therapist shortage impacting business at its fully restored Turkish Baths. 

An inability to find therapists to work at the council-run Harrogate Turkish Baths in North Yorkshire has resulted in a number of empty treatment rooms in the building, prompting concerns over a serious loss in income. 

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

Part of the loss stems from the site’s refurbishment – it closed on June 4, 2018, for an upgrade, making improvements to the public areas of the building including a new entrance hall and reception area, and vacant therapist positions.  

The report states: “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 Harrogate Borough Council is now planning a recruitment drive for the health spa, which offers a range of treatments. Therapists can reportedly earn around £18,000 a year working at the baths.  

Another reason for the slump in business has been cited as growing competition from hotels and other treatment centres in the area.  

Chris Mason, manager at Turkish Baths Harrogate, told Professional Beauty: “The Turkish Baths Harrogate is an iconic facility dating back to 1897 and is a major tourist attraction for the town. As a result, we need to ensure we employee the best staff we can so that visitors experience the most relaxing and enjoyable visit possible. 

“We have an exceptionally talented team at the baths and we are always on the look out for those individuals that can further enhance our team. Recruitment to specialist posts such as therapists can be challenging – there are a lot of other facilities in the surrounding area so finding someone who fits this criteria can be a lengthy process. While we have the luxury of being able to add capacity to our team, we will continue to advertise for team members.” 

The baths originally opened in 1897 but the council took over management in the late 1990s. You can find out more about the therapist positions available here

With fewer therapists entering and staying in the industry, we ask the pros how you can recruit and retain the best 

Image: ©Facebook/@HarrogateTurkishBaths