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.

Catalyst Opening – Friday 18th January

Exciting news Catalyst will be having it’s official opening on Friday 18th January.

HRH The Princess Royal will be helping us mark this occasion along with some other VIPs who, will also have the opportunity to view various installations about the work which is taking place by staff and students in the building and across campus.

Due to the nature of the event, there will be some special arrangements in place for the morning, although Catalyst will be open and all services will be available.

Most importantly:

You will need your UniCard to get into the building.

No UniCard, no admittance – just for this morning.

Everyone is welcome to observe the plaque unveiling during the morning, and to view the various displays situated on the Ground Floor.

The security services have emphasised that photography will not be allowed while HRH is on campus so please refrain from using your phones etc. for pictures while our Royal guest is with us. There will be official photos on the University website before the end of the day.

Although Catalyst is open as normal there may be some temporary restrictions on where you can go – we will keep these to a minimum.

Thanks for your understanding and hope to see you there.

Catalyst is now open

Open all day / all night

Helpdesk hours:
Monday to Friday 
8.00am – 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday  10.00am – 6.00pm

Student Services, Careers and Learning Services have all moved to Catalyst and can be accessed through the Catalyst Helpdesk on the ground floor.

Telephone: 01695 650800 (ext 7800)

The desk provides the first point of contact for all three services. It offers help and information around Wellbeing and Counselling, Careers, Disability Support, Library and Learning Services, Money Advice, Accommodation, (including Halls Fees team, and Campus Life) as well as Transitions and the Chaplaincy.

We have 900 study spaces, almost 500 PCs which includes 108 loanable laptops.

We offer a wide range of study spaces for all your learning and research needs. In terms of collaborative working, there are a variety of spaces on the ground floor and bookable group rooms on the ground and 2nd floor.

3 bookable group rooms and 2 bookable presentation pods (all IT enabled)

Group tables and seating

Huts suitable for 3 or 4 people

PCs including specialist IT and software

Self-issue machines

Book returns

Quiet study

Books 001 – 399

Self-issue machine

9 appointment rooms (suitable for individual study) bookable after 6.00pm and at the weekend


Quiet study

Books 400 – 999

Self-issue machine

6 bookable group rooms – variety of sizes

Study pods with power sockets for more private working


Silent study

19 bookable individual study spaces


We also have a new student training room where we will be delivering study sessions; wellbeing; careers events and  our UniSkills activity.  The Willow room is on the 1st Floor and has a capacity of 20.  The facilities include collaborative tables with full presentation equipment.

There are printing stations available on all floors and 1st and 2nd floor areas also have self-issue machines so you can issue books as you work.  Vending facilities can be found on the ground and 3rd floor.  You will also see our helpdesk team roving across all floors, offering help and support when you need it.  Please just ask.

We do have a coffee shop on the ground floor 53.3 degrees North, who are on hand with barista coffee.

We look forward to welcoming you to Catalyst.


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