Centre for Alternative
Eco-friendly Community to Visitor Centre
CAT - Centre for Alternative Technology - is one of the earliest
centres, established in 1973 in a 16-hectare abandoned slate quarry
in the mountains
of Mid Wales. Its original aim was to create a new form of sustainable
rural community, which would experiment with “alternative” technologies
and ways of life. Little by little, number of volunteers increased and
in 1974 the idea came to turn a part of the site into a permanent exhibition
centre to explain CAT’s work and generate interest in alternative
technologies. This centre opened in 1975. Almost from the beginning,
it began to attract growing numbers of casual day visitors. The emphasis
shifted to providing a “good day out” for visitors, who were
mostly holidaymakers in the area combined with a simple educational approach
to the whole range of ecological lifestyle issues. Currently, CAT gathers
permanent 90 staff members and volunteers with additional 60 people during
summer time. Around 65,000 visitors are welcomed there every year.
These three words sum up the mission of CAT: “Inspiring” for
instilling the desire to change through concrete examples, “Informing” for
feeding the desire to change by providing the most appropriate information, “Enabling” for
providing and effective and continuing support to change the desire into
Can Visitors See?
- A range of interactive displays with working examples of environmentally
responsible buildings, renewable energy generation, sustainability
in the home, organic growing, composting and waste management.
Some of these
displays are especially designed for children.
- A cliff railway powered by water-balancing
- A stand alone electricity generating system comprising hydro, wind
power and a 13kW photovoltaic roof
- A boiler burning local forestry waste to provide space and water heating
- A rain fed reservoir for water
- Aquatic plant systems to treat sewage and waste water
services are provided ?
- Visitor center (daily ticket around 8-4 Pounds) (incl. shop, cafeteria etc)
- Association providing services for members (newsletter "Clean Slate")
- An information centre which provide visitors with free advice on sustainable
- Short courses (1 to 6 days) on environmental
- Master's degrees in architecture
- An institute for sustainable education is currently under construction (June
2008). This institute will include a 200 seat lecture theatre, 24 study bedrooms,
seminar rooms, a laboratory and a restaurant.
- CAT also publishes
books and articles on various topics (e.g. renewable energy, green education,
architecture, sustainable careers…) and proposes consultancy services.
in Sustainable Energy News:
(The issues can be downloaded from the web site of INFORSE.)
- Zero Carbon
Britain & Masters Programmes at CAT
No. 57, p. 5, August 2007 (pdf file 804kB)
NGO Network Launched
Issue No. 49, p.8, June 2005 (pdf file 295kB)
theme including the CAT
No. 24, p. 13-14, February 1999 (pdf
INFORSE organised a Seminar at CAT in
2003 (proceedings), and
planning one in 2008.
type of project
for Alternative Technology (CAT).
Exhibition and Development Centre
(CAT is member of INFORSE)
|New local jobs
||90 but some
of them are volunteers
of similar projects
||None in UK. (Artefact in Germany,
Folkecenter in Denmark)
for Alternative Technology,
SY20 9AZ, United Kingdom
Ph: +44 1654 705950; Fax:
+44 1654 702782
web site: www.cat.org.uk