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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 16:45 GMT
Community still mourns MG passing
A closed cafe near to the Longbridge plant
Businesses have struggled since production was halted at MG Rover
News of a planned rebirth of car-making at MG Rover has been welcomed by officials in Birmingham.

But for the community in Longbridge still living in the shadow of the sprawling factory it has been greeted with more scepticism and doubt.

Bob Davenport, a bus driver who worked at MG Rover for 16 years until 2000, said: "There is a six-month get out clause and they'll get out of it.

"They've got to spend absolutely millions and I can't see it.

"The land is worth millions and I think they'll take it while they can."

Sheila Hunt, a nearby resident, said she felt sorry for the redundant workers.

'Community diminished'

"I doubt there'll ever be jobs back there," she said.

A female worker who did not wish to be named said: "I can't see it myself but I'll wait and see what happens."

Teenage resident Anthony Wilkes spoke of one of the more noticeable casualties in the area after 6,000 redundancies were made at the plant in April 2005.

I've got a feeling that it might be good news and bring business back to us
Dan Dadrah, newsagent

"The cafe shut when MG Rover closed down and there is nowhere else for me to get my sandwiches at lunchtime," he said.

But some traders with businesses still operating nearby expressed more optimism for the future after Wednesday's news.

One, who works for an electrical shop which opened shortly before production stopped at MG Rover, said: "We used to get custom from the traffic coming down the road so it would be good to have the passing trade again."

Dan Dadrah, who has just taken over the ownership of a local newsagents, said: "We've been really quiet and takings are probably 50% down compared to before (production stopped).

"It was in a really bad way when we took over and the whole community has diminished, it's all gone dead.

"The news that production could restart seems true, I've seen it on the news and in the paper.

"It's a big place and they've got to do something with it. I've got a feeling that it might be good news and bring business back to us."


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