Business leaders have welcomed plans to enhance the BBC’s work in Birmingham with a new digital innovation unit.

BBC director for strategy and digital James Purnell committed the BBC to using Birmingham as the centre for training and induction, speaking at the ReThink Media conference at Birmingham City University.

He also unveiled plans to create what is being called the Guerrilla Group , a three-year partnership between the BBC and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Creative City Partnership that will see a six-strong digital content innovation team based at Fazeley Studios.

While the broadcaster has a way to go to correct major under-investment in the region , business leaders welcomed this start.

Anita Bhalla OBE, director of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, which has been working with the BBC on the plans, said it showed progress.

She said: “The clarification of Birmingham being the base for the BBC’s digital and training future shows we are going in the right direction.

“There is, of course, much more ground to make up but we have been working to present our case to the BBC and show how our creative, digital and cultural industries can benefit the corporation.

“The Guerrilla Group concept is an exciting one which is, once again, a demonstration of our strengths.

“Over the next 20 years, the way the BBC packages and produces its product will change beyond recognition and Birmingham will be at the cutting edge of this.

“The training will also provide a huge boost to the city, not least because we will have more than 1,000 BBC staff from all over the country coming to the Mailbox – that’s more than 1,000 potential ambassadors who will be able to see just how vibrant and dynamic Birmingham is.

“We will continue to work with the BBC and, at the same time, continue to encourage the development of these key sectors which have such an important part to play in our economic future.”