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Introducing the Catalyst Building at Staffordshire University

Apprenticeship hub

The Catalyst building will be a collision space of apprentices, students, and local employers

Teaching without walls

The building will offer innovate, digitally-led spaces to help our students thrive in the workplace

Employer partnerships

Dedicated areas will help to build relationships between employers and our students


The Catalyst will be a university hub providing world-class services and settings to support students through their education and towards their employment. The building will reach out to, and welcome, both current and future students, staff and employers. 

An exciting step for work-based learning

This new 8,800 sqm, three storey building will be located at the Leek Road Campus on the former Brindley building Site, and will be integral to our commitment to connected students with employers. 

The aim of the building is to bring together the delivery of apprenticeships and skills, to meet employer demand, in flexible, high-quality, digitally enabled space. 

The Catalyst building will provide open, social and flexible learning spaces, emulating real world working environments and opportunities for digital engagement.

catalyst building exterior

The Catalyst will be a unified building, bringing together social, study, teaching and support functions. Interwoven with these, the building will also be home to the University’s apprenticeship and Business School programmes.

The building will host digital and physical resources, including books and a number of special collections. The ground floor will showcase the very best that the University has to offer; a shop front speaking of quality, diversity and progressive thinking in higher education.

Watch as the Catalyst Building takes shape

Our on campus cameras have been capturing the progress of the Catalyst building as it takes shape. You can see more time lapse videos by clicking the link below. 


A catalyst for social good

The main contractor for the building of Catalyst, Vinci, is proud to support with the delivery of  social value commitments to Staffordshire University for the delivery of the Catalyst project. These commitments will have a positive impact on our students, staff, and the local area, cementing our role as a civic university. 

Vinci have pledged to invest in the wider Stoke-on-Trent area by providing:

  • 20 apprenticeship opportunities through VINCI and our supply chain
  • 4 two-week periods of work experience
  • 2 eight-week periods of work experience
  • Practical lectures, careers talks and educational support to the University
  • Monthly site tours
  • 25% of workforce within 10 miles of site
  • 50% of workforce within 30 miles of site
  • 25% of project spend within 10 miles of site
  • 50% of project spend within 30 miles of site
  • Engagement with VCSEs
  • 4 mental health awareness open to University staff and students in addition to our workforce
  • 10 hours per employee time to support community projects

If you are interested in any of the above initiatives and would like to find out more information, please contact sally-anne.jordan@staffs.ac.uk

Building a sustainable future

The new Catalyst Building has been designed to be highly sustainable through construction and when completed in the following key areas of carbon emissions and energy use:

  • Designed to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate rating of ‘A’ – well in excess of current Building Regulations requirements.
  • Constructed to high fabric standards (airtightness, insulation etc.) that are significantly better than the building being replaced.
  • The new heating design will avoid burning fossil fuels, by providing heat using either electric air source heat pumps or a connection to future low-carbon district heat networks.
  • Significant amounts of on-site renewable energy generation will be provided through roof-mounted PV arrays.
  • Design and construction are being undertaken within the framework of a ‘soft landings’ process which helps to ensure that the actual energy use of the building is as close as possible to the low-energy design predictions.
  • Designed to minimise material waste in construction, exploiting techniques of prefabrication and pre-construction.

Following the demolition of Brindley, we’ve crushed much of the material of the old building and re-used this to form the piling mat for the foundations of Catalyst, saving transport and reducing project waste. The team are working with the main contractor to eliminate waste through a Construction Environment Management Plan, with the standard to reuse or recycle wherever possible. Social enterprise waste management partner Recycling Lives is being used on site to manage, recycle and dispose of our site waste.

The spaces around the new building incorporate sustainable urban drainage systems to reduce flood risk and provide enhanced biodiversity through careful selection soft landscaping and planting. During the surveys undertaken on the former Brindley Building bats were found to be making use of the building. For the ongoing construction period, interim bat roosting provision has been installed within the grounds and on an adjacent University building, and permanent roost provision is to be incorporated into the fabric of the new Catalyst building, all overseen by qualified ecologists to comply with strict licensing requirements.

Stoke-on-Trent MP welcomes start of new Catalyst building

Stoke Central MP Jo Gideon says University’s new Catalyst building will act as a “massive focus” for employers.

On a visit to Staffordshire University’s main Stoke-on-Trent campus, Jo said the exciting development would add to the work Staffordshire University was doing in growing the numbers of skilled apprentices and raising education levels in North Staffordshire.


Liz Barnes CBE and and Jo Gideon MP on the Catalyst building site

Please note that all artwork featured on this page of the Catalyst building should be considered an artist's rendition of how the building could look upon completion, not an exact depiction.