Shops in the shadow of the MG Rover Longbridge plant have started to close as the community experiences the fall-out from the demise of the car manufacturer.

However, redundant Rover workers signalled their determination to rebuild their lives by turning out in their droves to a weekend jobs fair. More than 1,000 people attended the Birmingham City Councilorganised careers information day at Cofton Park on Saturday.

While former car workers were exploring different career paths, businesses near the Longbridge plant were starting to feel the pinch from the loss of local trade.

The nearby Cofton Cafe has closed and local pubs have recorded a downturn in trade. A sex shop on the nearby Bristol Road South is also thought to have closed and trade has plummeted in the local post office and hair salons.

Carl Fowkes, duty manager at The Old Hare and Hounds on Lickey Road, Rednel, said: "During the first week of the closure we had more customers because the Rover workers had nothing else to do.

"But now the redundancies have happened, trade has started to drop off a bit. Until people get themselves sorted we do not know what will happen."

Local Longbridge councillor Steve Bedser (Lab) praised the response from the local community.

He said: "There has been quite a humbling sense of optimism where people have been dealing with their situations stoically in a selfless way."

A second job day will look at application forms and interviews. It will be held on Thursday at Bournville College, Bristol Road South, between 11am and 4pm.

People can travel to the venue on shuttle buses leaving every hour between 10.45am and 2.45pm from Birmingham South-West Jobcentre Plus office, Bristol Road South.