After much anticipation, the time has finally come for students and staff to make the move into The Moulding Foundation Building, the new home to Royal School Manchester. Excitement was in the air, as the last boxes were packed and the school team took a moment to reflect as they closed the doors of their old school, known to many as ‘Dockray’,  for the final time. Careful planning and appropriate measures put in place have ensured the smoothest of transitions for the students, particularly for those who find disruption to routine challenging.

“We are so excited to be welcoming our students back after the February half term break to a brand new school building.  Having carefully introduced them to their new classrooms and a variety of new learning spaces it’s safe to say that the Soft Play room is a clear favourite!  Thanks to the whole staff team and to our students’ families for preparing for this much-anticipated transition.  We are so very grateful to all who have generously supported Seashell in the development of such a fantastic facility that our students and residents need now, and for the future.”

Emma Houldcroft, Head of Royal School Manchester

The completion of The Moulding Foundation building is not just an exciting time for Royal School Manchester, as the building is also home to a variety of shared spaces that students from Royal College Manchester, staff across campus and the community will benefit from too. From state of the art swimming and hydrotherapy pools, to a specialist audiology suite, to the Weston Dining Hall, a shared space for all to enjoy meal times together.

It just so happens that meeting this huge milestone in our Project Transformation co-insides with our Bicentenary year! As we take time to look back on all the amazing contributions that our charity has made over the last 200 years, not to mention the people who have helped make Seashell the place it is today, we can feel sure that we are doing all we can to continue that legacy.

What’s next? Securing the future of Seashell…

We are now diving straight into the next phase of our master plan of developments with the construction of a new Royal College Manchester, Sports and Administration building.

The new building will comprise a single storey College and two storey Reception, Sports and Administration centre and house a new Café, Activity Hall with extended climbing wall, Fitness Suite, Rebound Room, Sensory Integration Room and a suite of flexible multi-purpose rooms at ground floor level with contemporary office space above and associated external landscaping.

The current, temporary car park to the south will be extended to improve access and increase capacity and a new landscaped walkway will provide a safe pedestrian route from the main entrance and car park to the new Reception. The drop-off area will serve School and College and the area between will be landscaped to provide an attractive, multi-purpose environment for leisure, continued learning and performance. 

“Later this year College will decant into Dockray, the former school building, which will be refurbished. This will allow the existing, outdated College buildings to be demolished to make way for this major development. It will be similar in scale and appearance to the new Moulding Foundation Building and a similar palette of materials will help promote a sense of identity, unity and well-being”.

David Walker, Transformation Project Design Lead

Outline planning permission has already been granted for the development which plans to open at the end of summer 2025.

This ambitious site transformation is the largest of its kind in the UK, and is only possible thanks to the generous support from individuals, companies, trusts and foundations, to whom we are incredibly grateful.

As part of our Bicentenary celebrations, we are holding a special, summer event – Seashell Shine – on Saturday 17th June.

We will be having one big party at our campus. Joining us is the Worker Bee Market as well as an exciting choice of family-friendly activities and events including a funfair, inflatables, music and a very special guest from Cbeebies…stay tuned for more information very soon!