Constant Group Logo

Company history

In 1969, Harry Garlick was told he ‘didn’t have enough money to buy a fish and chip shop’, let alone an aluminium trading company.

Harry proved them wrong and Constant Aluminium Supplies Ltd was formed on Greenhalgh Street off Oldham Road in 1970. Delighted that over 50 years later, led by two further generations of Garlicks, his company still flourishes today.

How it started

In the late 60s, Harry’s passion and knowledge of the aluminium industry drew his eldest son Richard’s interest, and instead of Richard investing his savings in a newsagent’s cabin in central Manchester, he offered it to his father, establishing Constant Aluminium Supplies Ltd in 1970. Although, suggested names for the business did include ABC Aluminium and Express Aluminium, before settling on Constant Aluminium.

Vera, Harry’s wife, became the company’s Secretary, with Harry leading the way on buying and selling aluminium to local businesses alongside Richard labouring (or goffering as Richard calls it). They did their deliveries by hand or by bus to local business. With orders flourishing, the company bought their first ‘truck’ for a modest £75. Their bus travelling days were over. Richard had met Maggie, and unknowingly to Harry, the legacy of the company was to continue with Matthew (Matt) and Emma born in 1978 and 82 respectively.

With the business skills like his father, Richard started to make his own business contacts and continued to grow the company after his father’s passing.  He saw an early niche in the market to use his left-over aluminium sheets to produce fingerplates and kick plates. Constant Engineering, as it was known, was born.

Maggie left her career as a respected Teacher and joined Richard, initially as ‘the sales girl’. Maggie would handle calls at home to prospective customers, receiving orders and passing to Richard the next day to manufacture and deliver. Once Vera retired, Maggie officially became the company Secretary.

The next generation

While Richard and Maggie grew the business, their children flourished at university. Matt asked to join the company on the afternoon of his graduation from Manchester Metropolitan University, while Emma joined just days after her own graduation from De Montfort University, both keen to join the team at Constant. Over 20 years later, they’re both now hands-on managing directors.

The business premises haven’t moved that far from the original building, where Richard and Harry had a small warehouse. Constant’s current 60,000ft2 manufacturing site is just off the M60 Junction 22, providing quick access to the motorway for easy distribution.

Becoming a group

In 2015, the company changed name to Constant Group Ltd to reflect the depth of the business’ brands and multiple divisions. As a stroke of luck, the company name changed on Richard’s birthday, the 10th of April, which certainly helped with the diplomatic side of broaching the ‘Dad we’ve changed the company name’ conversation.

Richard comments, “45 years ago I couldn’t have envisaged being part of a company providing a range of metal work to companies around the world. Today we employ over 80 people from the Oldham and Manchester area, something again I’d never have thought possible when I started up with my father in the 70s. I never have to win the lottery. I’ve got my family and the business, and to me, that’s my lottery win.”

Richard sits proudly as Chairman with Maggie as Financial Director, alongside Matt and Emma as joint MDs. The family business continued to develop through the years with Jayne, Matt’s wife, and David, husband to Emma, joining in their business fields of Business Development Manager and Operations Manager respectively.

Over time the fabrication side of the company grew into a flourishing precision sheet metal manufacturing business, now supplying FTSE100-500 companies, leading high-street brands as well as our local Oldham council.


In recent years the manufacturing site expanded further, taking over adjacent units to cover over 60,000ft2, and offering fully isolated assembly areas for specialist integrations and projects. We started with a team of two and one flat back van, fast forward to today where we’ve an 80 plus strong team, three 7.5tonne wagons for national deliveries alongside a current version of that original flat back for local deliveries.

The first accounts of the business are hung on our walls, highlighting a modest profit of £4,434, while 50 years later turnover is £9.9 million – and we’re still family owned and operated, since 1970.