More than 1,000 jobs have been safeguarded at companies who supply components to collapsed car- maker MG Rover.

So far, 271 firms have contacted the emergency hotline set up by supply-chain initiative Accelerate to offer help and advice to companies which have lost work, following the end of production at Longbridge.

Many are also owed thousands of pounds in unpaid bills for components and parts supplied to the company.

A total of 52 firms have received a wage subsidy from Accelerate, which is managing part of the Government's £40 million aid package to the supply chain.

A total of £483,300 has been paid as wage subsidies to firms, enabling them to safeguard the short-term future of 1,138 jobs.

Rachel Eade, programme manager at Accelerate, said: "This money is to buying a little time for companies to adjust to their situation.

"Many firms still have people who were making parts for MG Rover, but are now no longer needed.

"This money is in place to enable component makers to find other firms and new business. It is about making sure they don't have to make any knee-jerk responses and start laying people off."

Mrs Eade said she had not heard of many firms which had had to make redundancies in the wake of MG Rover's liquidation, but said this was likely to change as time progressed.

She said: "Apart from Stadco, there have thankfully been not too many redundancies so far.

"I have heard of one firm out of our area which is 80 per cent dependent on MG Rover which could suffer.

"But most of the firms in the West Midlands do not have anything like that dependency, which shows the work we have been doing to help companies diversify has been paying off."

Meanwhile, a former worker at MG Rover has been recruited to help coordinate support for suppliers caught in the wake of the car-maker's collapse.

Chris Isherwood, a former supply chain process improvement manager, has just started work at Accelerate.

Mrs Eade said the addition of Mr Isherwood would help the distribution of funds and advice to the supply chain.

She said: "His recent fresh knowledge it will help us to work with the supply-chain companies."

But anxiety still remained high among many suppliers, who were now desperately searching for new work to replace the lost orders.

Mrs Eade said: "There are still levels of frustration among many firms with the lack of knowledge from the administrators."

She added that many firms were still trying to recover unused components from the Longbridge site.

"It appears that PricewaterhouseCoopers have said they will facilitate trips to the distribution centre for people to recover their components.

"There is some valuable stuff in there which could be sold on as parts for example."

The fact that 1,000 people were being retained at Longbridge to finish off MG vehicles was good news for some suppliers, and could help tide some over in the short term, she added.

"There is still quite a lot of anxious people out there, who are trying to find new business.

"The problem is everyone is trying to do exactly the same, and the scale of the situation.

"Plus, in the components industry it takes months to build relationships with car makers.

"This is not a short-term process, but we will be there to help them with support and advice."