A NEW report has chronicled Greater Manchester’s journey to become a world-leading hub for tech and eCommerce businesses.

Titled How Greater Manchester became the land of tech unicorns, the report by the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP) charts the region’s trajectory from birthplace of the Industrial Revolution to world-leading hub for tech businesses.

Success stories that feature in the report include the rise of The Hut Group (THG), from eCommerce start-up to multibillion-pound float on the London Stock Exchange, as well as brands such as AO, AutoTrader and On the Beach.

Manchester now has five homegrown eCommerce unicorns – start-up companies to be valued at more than $1bn – and the greatest concentration of eCommerce start-ups of anywhere in the UK, according to the report.

Lou Cordwell, chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP), said: “Greater Manchester’s rich history of digital innovation has provided the perfect platform for today’s tech and eCommerce success stories, attracting talent and investment and creating thousands of jobs.”

Matthew Moulding, chief executive and chairman, THG, added: “Manchester is a great location for our headquarters because of its world class infrastructure, access to talent and global supply chains.”