Techniquest first opened on 13 November 1986 on the site of the old British Gas showroom on the corner of Duke Street and St John Street. There were 48 exhibits at that time, many of them were designed and built by Techniquest. The old showroom was only used as temporary accommodation to house the centre for a couple of months. Less than seven weeks after it had opened Techniquest had welcomed its ten thousandth visitor.
They moved again in 1995 about 100 metres along Stuart Street to its present location on the site of a former engineering workshop which is now its permanent headquarters. The building opened on 2 May 1995. It uses the steel framework of the original building which can be clearly seen on the photograph, with the gray steel girders. Specialist contractors were used for the refurbishment including the shot blasting and protective paint system by PSG Facilities Limited of Cardiff (Mani Santos)director of PSG also carried out the restoration of the White Funnel Ticket Office next to the site which is now a restaurant Mermaid Quay.
Its aims are to engage people with science and to motivate them to learn more and they also address science-related areas such as maths, engineering and technology. Techniquest operates exhibitions, shows and programmes intended to make science accessible to people throughout Wales, and to improve the quality of public debate about science and technology.
Techniquest takes exhibitions and programmes to special events at many venues around Wales, from shopping malls to major cultural events such as the National Eisteddfod. It also offer comprehensive education services for schools, plus further activities through schemes such as Wales Gene Park, mathcymru, Science Café Wales and Teacher Science Network.
To provide this range of experiences, Techniquest maintains an active design and development arm, with excellent workshops and facilities. It also work with a range of partners and other experts, which include academics, scientists, industry and government, both within Wales and internationally.
As an independent registered educational charity, Techniquest is funded from a variety of sources. The Welsh Assembly Government provides approximately 1/3 of the funding, particularly to support schools programmes. Admission charges help to meet operating costs, whilst grants and other earned income are also essential. They are currently seeking £12m of capital funding to develop their sites and services over the next 5 years.