Our History

Established in 1995, we are a family-run business that has grown from a £5,000 initial investment into a £20 million success with over 100 employees based across three depots in Manchester, Thame and Glasgow.


With just £5,000 of capital, brother and sister team Graeme and Gill Riley open for business as GGR Glass Services. The business offers glass vacuum lifter hire to Rochdale and its surrounding areas.


Graeme and Gill travel to the USA and secure an exclusive UK dealership for Woods Powr-Grip, the world’s leading manufacturer of vacuum lifting equipment.


GGR designs, builds and launches its first glazing robot, RALF (Robotic Articulated Lifting Frame). This machine, and its successors the EMU (Ergonomic Manipulating Unit) in 1998 and the HOMER (High Operation Mounted EMU Robot) in 1999, were designed to efficiently install glass without the need for costly tower or mobile


GGR Group is awarded the Construction News Quality in Construction Award for the innovative EMU glass installation robot.


Gill and Graeme travel to Japan to explore the possibility of introducing spider cranes to the UK market. The mini crane concept had been pioneered in Japan 30 years earlier but was still widely unheard of in Europe. GGR became one of the first to import mini spider cranes to


The GGR Group sells its first mini spider crane, a UNIC URW-295 to S&W Processing, marking a significant leap forward in the crane market.


GGR successfully secures the European Master dealership with Japanese manufacturer Furukawa UNIC.


GGR celebrates selling its 200th UNIC mini spider crane. There are now over 200 spider cranes in the GGR hire fleet.


Once again, GGR Group is recognised for new product development and innovation, winning the Interbuild New Product Award for the HOMER robot.


With significant growth, the GGR Group is recognised on by The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 League Table.


GGR, in conjunction with the Construction Plant Competency Scheme (CPCS), develops the UK’s first industry-recognised qualification for mini crane operation. The CPCS A66 training is run by GGR’s CPCS qualified trainers at our Centre of Excellence training facilities in Thame and Manchester.


Atkins Inspire Awards Finalist (Gill Riley). Natwest Everywoman Awards Athena category Winner (Gill Riley). The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 League Table.


GGR launches its range of Galizia Pick and Carry cranes designed to lift, shift and place loads of up to 25 tonnes without the need for outriggers. These highly manoeuvrable mobile industrial cranes are a practical alternative to traditional forklift and iron fairy cranes and come with lifting capacities from 2t


GGR Group Managing Director, Gill Riley is named as finalist for the Veuve Clicquot Businesswoman of the Year award


GGR launches its range of cladding lifters that are compatible with a broad range of composite panel brands including Rockspan, Paroc, Isocab and Kingspan KS1000 series. These machines allow for the precise installation of ceiling, roofing, vertical and horizontal wall cladding.


GGR Group Managing Director, Gill Riley is listed as a finalist in the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards.


The Oscar glazing robot is launched, this robot offers delivers unparalleled lifting capacity for its size and allows for more precise glass installation.


Infrarail Award for Plant & Equipment. Red Hot Women of the Year, highly commended in Pioneer category (Gill Riley).


The launch of mini crawler cranes into the already versatile GGR fleet adds the ultimate combination of compact size and heavy duty lifting power for working on rugged terrain or congested sites.


European Rental Awards, Small Rental Company of the Year Finalist. Railtex Award for Plant and Equipment. IAPA Product of the Year (GKB19 Multipla). Women in Construction Awards Finalist (Gill Riley). First Women Awards, Built Environment category Finalist (Gill Riley).


The health and safety of staff and customers is GGR’s number one priority. The introduction of quad-circuit glass vacuum lifters raises the safety standards further than ever before.


European Rental Awards, Rental Person of the Year (Gill Riley). Hire Association Awards, winner of Small Hire Company of the Year, highly commended in Website of the Year category.


GGR Managing Director Gill Riley is awarded an OBE for Services to Construction in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours.


GGR Group with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, acknowledging significant year on year growth in business overseas.