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Facilities and Location

CAT is a living laboratory containing some of the most innovative and renowned environmentally conscious buildings in the country.

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Situated in picturesque surroundings around 3 miles north of Machynlleth in Mid Wales, the Centre for Alternative Technology has a broad array of facilities that will cater to nearly all your needs when you come during your residential study weeks.

At CAT we try to live what we teach. For 50 years, CAT’s activities have covered all aspects of green living, including environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.

When you stay and study at CAT you’ll be surrounded by a diverse range of installed renewable technologies, water and sewage treatment facilities, sustainably managed woodland and acres of organic gardens. All of which helps us cater to your needs when you stay here and serve as useful teaching resources.

General Facilities

  • 200-seat, rammed earth, circular lecture theatre
  • Large classrooms/workspaces and smaller seminar/private meeting rooms
  • WISE open spaces provide useful light and warm areas to meet
  • Free student WIFI available across most of the site
  • Flexible exhibition and study space for student projects and work.
  • An on-site eco store
  • Vegetarian café offering delicious vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes and snacks
  • Free parking and charging for electric vehicles (for charging please contact us to book ahead to ensure you have access)
  • We have an electric mobility scooter and wheelchairs that can be used free of charge but should be booked in advance. Call 01654 705950 to book
  • Donnelly’s Bar stocks organic and ethically sourced drinks and snacks
  • Access to CAT’s 24 acres of woodlands, organic gardens and interactive displays


A diverse range of display and research items around the site are available for students’ research and dissertation work, and we can provide a wide range of monitoring equipment, including temperature data loggers, light metres, wind monitoring equipment and thermal imaging cameras.

Other resources available online to all students include recordings of lectures, online discussions, and access to online journals via Athens or Science Direct and to online books via the awarding university library.

Shared studio space is also available for Architecture students during their teaching weeks on-site.

Deck outside WISE accommodation

Student accommodation

Situated within the UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere and nestled in the foothills of the South Snowdonia National Park, our on-site accommodation offers student the opportunity to stay in a picturesque setting during their studies.
CAT Main Entrance

Getting to CAT

CAT is situated three miles north of Machynlleth and is easily accessible by public transport. Machynlleth is on the Birmingham-to-Aberystwyth train line, which can be also accessed via Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton, and hourly buses from Machynlleth train station stop right outside the site.
Vegetarian Cafe at CAT

Vegetarian Cafe

Provides a diverse range of delicious vegetarian food.
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Student's desk

Eco Store

Great range of books, snacks and stationary.
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Transforming how we travel is key in sustainability and behaviour change

Getting to CAT

Within cycling distance of Machynlleth.
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