Catalyst is an interactive science centre and museum devoted to chemistry and how the products of chemistry are used in everyday life. The museum aims to make science exciting and to inform people about science-based industries and their role in our lives – past, present and future.
The museum holds a wide collection of archive material from the local chemical industry including Towers, ICI, Brunner Mond and McKechnie.
Catalyst is housed in the Gossage Building, which was built as part of John Hutchinson’s chemical works. The building was then sold to William Gossage, a soap manufacturer. It was topped with electric signs declaring that Kurlo will not shrink woollens and Restu washes white overnight. Since then the building has been occupied by ICI, who carried out research into fluorine chemistry, and Hughes and Treleaven, a company involved in the printing industry.