Centre for Alternative Technology

Britain's major centre for environmental inspiration and courses.


Financial Information

How is CAT funded ?

CAT receives almost no grant or government funding for its ongoing activities. It has received significant grants towards its new building, the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education, and for other projects.

So how are running costs paid ?

They are paid through income generated by CAT, and the donations of supporters. Income is split between a number of activities, including the visitor centre, courses, shops, mail order, restaurant, cafe, publications and consultancy. CAT's business operations have to compete in the open market, whilst being committed to CAT's ethical standards, and also need to fund charitable research and development work. In other words, CAT is usually short of money! Without our volunteers, staff who accept wage levels considerably below average, and the support of members of the public, CAT would simply not be possible.

Where does the money go ?

CAT has the usual day to day running costs any business or charity might have. It also has to maintain an unusual collection of sustainable buildings developed over forty years, the cliff railway, and the many renewable energy devices and displays you will see around the site. CAT's free information service, school-age educational activities, and research work, such as the ZeroCarbonBritain report, which provides a blueprint for an emissions-free UK, and has been presented to the UK government, other UK political parties, and to non-UK governmental bodies, are also mostly paid for with CAT's own resources, and through donations.

I'm not surprised CAT is often short of money. What can I do to help ?

Because CAT has very clear ethical standards, and charitable aims which are central to all activities, any donation to CAT, or any money spent with CAT, will both help the organisation financially, and directly contribute to our vision for a sustainable world.

The list above gives a good idea of the different things we do. Our on-line and mail-order shop may not be as cheap as some competitors, but every pound spent helps with our charitable work, and you can be certain that goods will be sourced and delivered in an ethical way. Our short and longer-term courses give people the skills they need to contribute more to global sustainability. Our publications also show people how to live a more sustainable life.

You can also join CAT. Our members receive a number of benefits, a members' magazine, and regular updates about how their membership fees have helped with our work.

See other sections of our website to find out more about these and our other activities, call us on 01654 705950, or come to our visitor centre near Machynlleth. Public transport details are in the Visit Us section.

See also: Become a member, Donate Now, Eco Store, Courses, Graduate School of the Environment, CAT homepage