The West Midlands has risen to the challenge of the MG Rover collapse but is still not out of the woods yet, a member of the Rover Taskforce said.

The taskforce, which consisted of Advantage West Midlands, local MPs, Job Centre Plus, the Learning and Skills Council, Birmingham City Council and trade unions, swung into action t wo days after the a dministrators were called in.

Norman Price, deputy chairman of AWM, said the fallout from the Longbridge closure was still being dealt with.

It was initially estimated that the collapse would cost the West Midlands economy £380 million. That has since been revised to £200 million.

He said: "When it happened we had been hoping for the best, but also preparing for the worst.

" We had to react incredibly quickly because of the effect on the workforce who had lost their jobs and also on the suppliers who were facing major financial problems with bad debts and loss of stock.

"Personally I just thought we have got to get on with it and deal with the consequences, not just wish it hadn't happened."

The estimated 150 companies which were dependent on Rover in 2000, had been reduced to about 50. Eventually only 11 companies collapsed in the wake of the Longbridge crisis.

An estimated 4,000 of the 6,270 people who lost their jobs at Rover and the supply companies have now found work, while 1,850 are still searching for jobs.

Mr Price said: "The region has responded well to the challenge. But we need to move forward and continue to focus on the community. There are still potential problems, especially in south west Birmingham. We cannot get complacent; we have to continued to diversify and invest."