Changes to guidance in Catalyst – Keeping all students and staff safe

Due to the 3rd national lockdown that is currently in place we have made some changes to services and facilities within Library & Learning Services and Catalyst.

Borrowing books

As a temporary measure we have replaced are usual reservation service with a Click and Collect Service. This allows you to place reservations on available items through the Library Catalogue. You will receive a notification when your request is ready and then all you need to do is collect it from the reservation shelf in Catalyst and issue to your account using our self-issue machine. You can monitor your request via the My Account function in the library catalogue.

Our book stock remains open for you to browse if you are on campus and using Catalyst.

Opening times

We have reviewed our opening times and during the lockdown Catalyst will be open 8am – 8pm weekdays and 10am – 6pm at weekends. We will continue to review our opening times.

Face Coverings

We have reviewed our risk assessments and due to the 3rd national lockdown and the new, highly transmittable variant of Covid-19 it is now mandatory to wear a face covering at all times in public areas of Catalyst (unless you are exempt). This includes whilst studying at a desk or PC, borrowing books and moving around the building.

Staff will be monitoring this, and you will be approached if you are not wearing a mask or a pink lanyard. We ask that you support us in following this guideline by wearing your face covering at all times and understanding to our staff.    


Government guidance states that areas should be kept well ventilated therefore you will notice that windows will be open in Catalyst. We know it may get chilly but we ask that you do not shut the windows. Please bear in mind that it may be cold and bring an extra layer or two if you are planning to study. Staff will periodically open windows throughout the day, please be understanding to our staff.

University Community Pledge

We will continue to ask all students and staff to abide by our Community Pledge.

We are asking each and every individual to agree to:   

  1. Fully adhere to official Public Health guidance in relation to Covid-19. 
  2. Protect myself and others by maintaining appropriate physical distance and hygiene.
  3. Unless exempt, wear a face-covering when and where required to do so.
  4. Not attend University if they feel unwell with, or if I have been in close proximity to others with, Covid-19 symptoms or who have tested positive for the virus.
  5. Raise and respond to concerns of Covid-inappropriate behaviour in an open, constructive and respectful manner and, if necessary, adjust their behaviour to be in line with Public Health and University guidelines.

Going Green

As you may have noticed, the landscaping around Catalyst has started to progress quite rapidly with lovely block work and planting going in near the main entrance.

The plans for the landscaping surrounding the building are vast and compliment the rest of the campus, incorporating lots of greenery, trees, shrubs and gardens. Below are the initial landscaping plans from our Landscape Gardeners, Milieu Landscape Design.


You can see outside the front of Catalyst we have the ‘Grand Lawn’, a raised lawn area with crossing points across the centre, and to the left of the entrance is an outdoor study garden.

The Great Lawn in progress

Landscaping near the main entrance

Around either side of Catalyst, we have two woodland areas; ‘Woodland Glade’ and ‘Woodland Garden’; the latter will have a raised deck walkway from the eastern campus to the building. Directly behind the building is a formal garden, ‘The Suffragette Garden’ with a central feature avenue and a variety of trees and shrubs.

To the right of Catalyst there will be an informal seating area with views out over the lake and if you approach Catalyst from Creative Edge and the main car park, you will find terrace steps leading up the canopy, which overhangs the building.

Landscaping near the main entrance

Landscaping near the main entrance

As you can see from some of the photos above, work on the landscaping has already started and this is due to step up a gear this week as access to the Wilson Centre (track side/Catalyst side) is closed for approx. 8 weeks.

Keep an eye on our social media accounts for progress photos and updates!

@CatalystEHU on Twitter, Facebook  and Instagram!

Month of May

May so far has seen the completion  of the beautiful copper cladding (minus the odd panel here and there still to be fitted) which looks fantastic. Photos below, but you really should take a wander past if you haven’t already!

Plastering, interior windows and doors have been finished and fitted on most floors, the wooden cladding on the stairwell is being fitted and the spiral staircase takes pride of place in the large window which looks out over the lake and the eastern part of campus.

Our fantastic interior designers, Nomad have designed a variety of bespoke furniture for the ground floor space as well as bespoke furniture for study spaces on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors which is starting to take shape in the building.

Furniture for the entire building has been carefully chosen and is currently under production, ready to be fitted throughout June and July!

There is still a lot of progress to be made and the internal fit out and furnishing will take place throughout June and July, along with the book stock and staff moves. It’s going to be a busy summer period, but we can’t wait for August when the building will be fully furnished and ready to wow! all of it’s visitors!

Progress pictures from May 2018. Thanks to Ian Palgrave-Neath for some awesome photos of Catalyst.

Beautiful copper cladding

Beautiful copper cladding

Beautiful copper cladding

View from the 2nd floor over Creative Edge

Internal glass walls

Cladding on the stairwell

Cladding on the stairwell

Cladding on the stairwell

Spiral staircase – awaiting finishing touches

Bespoke ‘hedge walls’ under construction on the 3rd floor


Coffee, Wagtails and a spiral staircase

Wow! What a busy few months it has been! Since our last progress update post (back in February!!!) so much has changed and progressed with the building project. The next few posts will be updates from the last few months with plenty of progress pictures!

April 2018

April was an exciting month with the arrival of the spiral staircase which will take users between the 1st and 2nd floors whilst having the opportunity to take in the stunning view from the floor to ceiling window which looks out over the eastern campus and the lake.

Underfloor heating was installed on the ground floor and construction of the main entrance to the building also began.

The Coffee Shop was a awarded to Aramark, a company who specialise in providing food services to Universities and stadiums, and a sneak peek at their proposals for food and coffee menus has got us all very excited!

The flooring design for the ground floor of Catalyst was finalised and  Nomad have done a fantastic job at turning the flooring in to a real feature of the building. The flooring on the ground floor has been specifically designed to complement the colour schemes and layout of the building and will be a real focal point when you enter Catalyst.

April also featured more site visits for staff and we were joined by Luke Myer, Vice-President Academic Representation, from the Students’ Union on a tour.

We also had a visit from a well known character around campus, Mr Wagtail! He was caught on our webcam keeping an eye on progress. We’re sure wagtails will feature again within the project, along with lots of other wildlife!

Progress pictures from April 2018

Catalyst ground floor flooring design

Catalyst ground floor flooring design

Mr Wagtail keeping an eye on progress

The spiral staircase arrives!

The spiral staircase is moved in to place

The spiral staircase is moved in to place

Underfloor heating being installed on the ground floor

Construction of the main entrance begins

Coffee Shop concept idea

Coffee Shop concept idea

Lindsay McBride

Project Manager

Marching on

Wow! What a busy few months it has been! Since our last progress update post (back in February!!!) so much has changed and progressed with the building project. The next few posts will be updates from the last few months with plenty of progress pictures!

March 2018

In March we saw fantastic progress with the copper cladding on the exterior of Catalyst which surrounds almost all of the building. It looks stunning in the sunlight and is a real feature of the building. Windows on the ground floor and roof lights on the third floor were fitted, making it feel much more like a building and less like a construction site (well, slightly!) and the plasterboard and plastering began on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors.

Our interior designers, Nomad, provided a concept of the colour palette which will feature thoughout the building including in the bespoke furniture elements and throughout the loose furniture items such as chairs and sofas.

March also saw members of Directorate take a tour of Catalyst to catch up on progress and discuss the different spaces within the building. We think Vice-Chancellor, John Cater, and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mark Allanson, were both very excited about the developments on campus.

Here are some progress pictures from March.

Copper Cladding – March 2018

Copper Cladding – March 2018

View from the main car park – March 2018

Third floor – 06.03.18

Third floor roof lights being fitted – 06.03.18

Third floor roof lights being fitted – – 06.03.18

Ground floor glazing begins to be fitted – 06.03.18

Ground floor windows – 06.03.18

Proposed colour scheme

Vice-Chancellor, John Cater and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mark Allanson visit Catalyst


Lindsay McBride

Project Manager

In conversation with…

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of chatting to members of Directorate about Catalyst.

We discussed the inspiration for the name ‘Catalyst’; how they thought the building would enhance the student experience at Edge Hill; and how the change to having three services (Student Services, Careers & Learning Services) all together under one roof could improve the way we support our students.

Click the videos below to hear what John, Mark, Steve & Lynda had to say.

What inspired the name Catalyst?

Why did EHU choose to invest in a new building, which houses the Library, Learning Services, Student Services and Careers under one roof?

How do you think Catalyst will enhance the student experience at EHU?

How do you think Catalyst will change the way the three services currently support our students?


Project Manager

Hard Hat Weather

We’ve been a little quiet on the blog for the last month or so and that’s because we’ve been busy showing our colleagues around Catalyst! That’s right, its been hard hat weather!

Over the past four weeks there have been 12 site visits to Catalyst, with around 140 members of staff taking the opportunity to walk around the building site, get a feel for the space and see the progress that has been made in the last few months!

There has been plenty of mud, puddles, rain, wind and even snow over the past four weeks, but colleagues have braved the cold weather, some even got lucky with clear skies & sunshine, taking in the views from the roof terrace on the third floor.


Strike a pose

Last Friday (17th November) Dan and Allistair (from our Media Team) and I went on site to get some photos of the construction team who are working hard to get Catalyst ready for Summer 2018!

We timed this with a staff BBQ that was taking place for the construction team and so they were all downing tools at the same time. We managed to get a good turn out for the photo, although some people aren’t looking too pleased at having to pose instead of tucking in to a burger!

Some of the construction team for Catalyst

Whilst we were on site we took advantage of the opportunity to snap some more photos of the building and how it’s construction is progressing. Most of the photos are taken on the first and second floors where internal walls are being constructed and the ‘first fix’ is taking place. The first fix is the initial installation of data and power into the building. It is amazing to think that we are installing data and power in to part of Catalyst, whilst other parts are still being built! Lots of activity taking place in parrallel as we’re working to a tight deadline!

Thanks to Dan Hall for the awesome photography skills!

Some of the construction team for Catalyst

Some of the construction team for Catalyst

The fancy 360 camera!

First floor views

Second Floor

Second Floor

Second Floor

Second Floor

External view of the side of Catalyst (the main entrance will be at the curve on the right)

Exterior of Catalyst.

Exterior of Catalyst.

Exterior of Catalyst. The main entrance will be under the curve

Exterior of Catalyst.

360 view on second floor

360 view

Lindsay McBride

Project Manager

Learn to Fly

We’ve been a little quiet on the blog front this month, but that does not mean things have been quiet with the EHU Big Build!

Our Chair Fair was a great success with around 100 of you testing out the furniture and providing feedback, check out our Twitter and Facebook for the results!

We’ve also been testing some interesting furniture over in the Hub and the Library. A HushPod, Sound Station and PhonePod! These pieces are fitted with acoustic panels which reduce the noise from outside and keep conversations inside private.

If you haven’t tested these yet you’ll need to be quick, they’re here until the end of October. You can share your feedback with us via Facebook, Twitter or by emailing Lindsay McBride at [email protected]


We’ve also been working hard to organise the Interior Design Competition! An Invitation to Tender (ITT) has gone out to a number of interior design companies and provides them with a brief about the building, it’s purpose and guidance on the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ the building should have.
The companies will then be invited to attend a site visit in November and present their approach to the project to the stakeholder panel which should include A1 boards illustrating their proposed approach & design concept; a design report and the completed tender documentation.
The panel will be made up of colleagues from Learning Services, Student Services, Careers, The Student Union, Capital Projects & external consultants associated with the build.

We’ve also been getting out and about on campus at recent Open Days with our new exhibition stand and a fly-through of Catalyst! Certainly attracting attention from potential students and their parents!



Lindsay McBride
Project Manager

Everybody wants to be a cat

The cat is out of the bag! Our new name is….


A catalyst for change for the Edge Hill Community, creating a reaction and inspiring change.

Our new name is very fitting for our purpose within the Edge Hill Community. We are one of the first university’s in the UK to bring together the Library, Learning Services, Student Services and Careers all under one roof and offer a single enquiry point for students and staff.


Construction of Catalyst is progressing well and September has seen the installation of stairs, concrete floors and the start of the steelwork on the eastern side of the building.


We also launched our ‘Chair Fair’ this month and if you haven’t been to test them out yet, what are you waiting for?! Library Cat has chosen his favourite!


Grab a few pals and get a game of musical chairs on the go, just don’t forget to share your feedback with us and tell us which is your favourite chair before you leave! (The current winner is Chair No.14, it is pretty comfortable!)


The Chair Fair is taking place on the ground floor of the Library with a selection of 22 chairs from a number of suppliers for staff and students to try and will run until approximately 6th October.



Project Manager