Catalyst - Science Discovery Centre

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Catalyst is an interactive science centre and museum devoted to chemistry and how the products of chemistry are used in every day life. Our key aim is to make science exciting and accessible to people of all ages and to inform them about science based industries and their role in our lives, past present and future.

Venue Type:

Museum, Science centre

Opening hours

Summer Opening Times (February half-term until the end of October)

Weekdays (Tuesday-Friday) 10.00am to 5.00pm and Bank Holiday Mondays except at Christmas and New Year. Last admission is at 4.00pm

Weekends 11.00am to 5.00pm. Last admission is at 4.00pm


Opening Times Winter (November - February before half term week)

Weekdays (Tuesday-Friday) 10.00am to 4.00pm and Bank Holiday Mondays except at Christmas and New Year. Last admission is at 3.00pm

Weekends 11.00am to 4.00pm. Last admission is at 3.00pm

Closed Mondays except during half-terms, Easter and in August, when special events are planned and we are open 10.00am to 5.00pm

Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, but we ARE open on the Bank Holiday Mondays at Christmas

See website for details

Admission charges

See website for details.


  • Museums Association

The collection consists of nearly 7,050 individually numbered items and groups including objects, archive material and photographs. The objects range from test tubes to a 20 ton cast iron caustic soda finishing vessel and the archives include company documents of all kinds, product brochures and general ephemera.

The photographic collection documents products and processes, company history, social activity and local history.

We also have collected some local social history objects which have helped to give a human context to the collection as a whole.

The collection has concentrated, in terms of industry, on the salt based chemical industries of Merseyside, South Lancashire and North and Mid Cheshire, along with other chemical industries that have arisen in these areas. Our social history collection has been confined to Widnes and Runcorn and its environs.

Collection details

Social History, Science and Technology, Costume and Textiles, Archives

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Heritage Open Days

Heritage Open Days: A look back in time at Catalyst Science Discovery Centre

  • 11 — 12 September 2015

Award winning Catalyst is a Grade II listed building which formerly housed Gossage’s Soap Works. Explore the fascinating galleries and watch some rarely seen local archive films in glorious black and white. The film shows are ideal for those with an interest in local history and children will love the interactive exhibits in the galleries.

Get some great tips about tracing your family tree at the free drop-in Family History Workshops which will take place in the cafe on the Friday.

On Saturday, Halton Young People's Theatre present a performance inspired by the real lives of local chemical industry employees, weaving together a collection of stories that tell a compelling history of the ordinary people behind the gas masks. Performance times have yet to be confirmed.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly


Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Science Club

Science exploration activities on the second Saturday of each month 11.00-13.00, suitable for young people 11-14 years old.

How to obtain

Workshops are free but booking is essential by calling 0151 4201121.

Catalyst - Science Discovery Centre
Gossage Building
Mersey Road




0151 4201121

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.