BIG business last night backed the growing campaign to launch a Greater Liverpool brand for the region.
The support comes after the Daily Post revealed that political and business leaders are considering using the name Liverpool to promote the region's interests abroad.
It is thought the surrounding local authorities would benefit from their associations with the city which already has a strong international profile. Ellesmere Port's Vauxhall Motors plant recruits the majority of its workforce from Cheshire but a spokesman, who described the site's proximity to Liverpool as "very important", said: "We are very proud of our associations with Liverpool but also accept that a lot of our work-force are based in Cheshire.
"I think the Liverpool name is a very strong one in this country but more importantly across the world." Three years ago US Airways moved its European call centre to Tithebarn Street in Liverpool.
Centre manager Amanda Davidson last night said the airline benefits from having an office in an internationally renowned city."It is now an extremely important place for the company."
Liverpool-based brewery Cains last year launched a marketing campaign with a strap-line "Liverpool in a Pint". Joint managing director Ajmail Dusanj said beers such as Newcastle Brown, Fullers of London and London Pride showed the importance of breweries associating with high-profile cities.
He said: "We are a regional player who are selling to regionalised drinkers.
"Even before the Capital of Culture win, we realised that Liverpool was vital for the Cain's brand. We now tie all our marketing with the Liverpool name."
The director of independent think tank Downtown Liverpool last night called on Wirral and Southport to follow the lead of Salford and Trafford and be part of a "greater city" brand.
Frank McKenna said: "Wigan, Trafford, Salford and Oldham have no difficulty in taking advantage of the Manchester brand.
"Why should Greater Liverpool create a problem for Knowsley, Sefton or Wirral?"
But Graham Gerrard, finance controller of Wirral-based Tomcat said the Merseyside brand was still important for business.
Tomcat constructs stages for rock concerts and reports to a head office in Texas in the US.
Mr Gerrard said: "Losing Merseyside would be detrimental for us. We tell our American colleagues that we are from Wirral on Merseyside and they know where we are."