MG Rover task force awards grants

A task force set up after the demise of MG Rover has paid grants of 300,000 pounds sterling to 34 suppliers affected by the crisis. The body, set up to help workers at the Longbridge plant in Birmingham, said the payout had prevented 700 redundancies among supply firms. It has 150 million pounds of government aid to hand out in the wake of Rover’s collapse.

The task force, which includes politicians, union leaders and business officials has also decided to extend a package of training and help to 750 workers at the Peugeot factory in Coventry who are losing their jobs. Task force chairman, Nick Paul, said the grants to firms, which have been laying people off since Rover went into administration, would last for six weeks.

Many local job centres opened especially over the weekend and have confirmed that they are already managing to place Longbridge workers in employment. Helplines have been established for the 5,000 workers, who have now started to receive redundancy notices in the post. The 150 million pound support package includes more than 60 million pounds to help diversify industry in the Longbridge area and to support MG Rover’s supply chain. A further 50 million pounds will fund retraining, while 40 million pounds will be used for statutory redundancy payments.

In addition to the 5,000 MG Rover jobs already lost, a further 1,000 workers kept on to complete orders could also go once the work is complete.