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Historic Turkish baths in Harrogate is set to ban nude bathing to 'promote inclusivity'

A 124-year-old spa is set to ban nude bathing in a bid to 'promote inclusivity' for those who are of varying gender categories, it has been revealed.

Historic Turkish Baths, which is run by Harrogate Council in North Yorkshire, has previously had swimwear-free options at its single-sex sessions.

However, the management team have proposed a ban over what it says is 'a concern regarding access to sessions for single sex users by those of varying gender categories including transgender, gender dysphoria and transsexual'.

Historic Turkish Baths (pictured), which is run by Harrogate Council in North Yorkshire, is set to ban nude bathing due to concerns over inclusivity for those of 'varying gender categories'

The proposed change was revealed in a report to the council ahead of a decision this week. 

Baths manager Chris Mason said in the report that 'optional' wearing of swimwear should no longer be allowed even in the single sex sessions for men and women.

He added: 'The proposed timetable changes will promote further inclusivity.

'Making wearing of swimwear compulsory at all single sex sessions will also promote inclusivity, allow the Council to meet its equality obligations under the Equality Act and alleviate staffing issues during single sex sessions.'

It comes as the bathhouse was forced to back down from plans to remove the single sex sessions and replace them with mixed sex sessions.

When the plans were revealed last year, bathers criticised the plans and said people would stop visiting if the changes went ahead. 

Victorian-era spa, which is run by the council, is also set to abandon plans to get rid of single-sex sessions after its customers said the change would mean people would stop coming 

A survey which was carried out after the plans were made public and had a total of 325 responses showed 92 per cent felt fully-mixed sessions would stop customers attending the baths. 

Most respondents to the survey said that a 'safe space' was needed for men and women separately.

The plans are due to go before the council's cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport councillor Stanley Lumley and if they're approved, they will be reviewed in six months. 

Management ended male-only sessions in 2011 claiming it was for 'financial reasons' before they were reintroduced five years later, according to Yorkshire Live.

Then last year plans were put forward to scrap all single sex sessions as a reflection of greater 'equality' in the modern world but it seems that decision is now set to be reversed.

Described as 'the most fully-restored Turkish baths, the spa opened in 1897 with the council taking over its management in the late 1990s. 

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