The four most northerly boroughs of London are talking to the London Development Agency in an attempt to upgrade their retail centres to meet competition from the Stratford City development.

The North London Strategic Alliance, made up of the councils of Haringey, Barnet, Waltham Forest and Enfield, are talking to London-wide authorities such as the LDA in an attempt to rebrand north London as an attractive commercial centre.

Stephen King, who has just joined the alliance after working for CABE, said that the four councils were working together to create a more coherent identity for the region.

He said: “Ken Livingstone is keen on sub-regional frameworks in order to turn the London plan into reality. We’re also looking at the design quality of the 32 town centres in the area. When Stratford City comes on line they’ll be dying on their feet unless they can compete.”

The councils will use the alliance to pitch jointly for the growth money from the ODPM.

The area includes the southernmost parts of both the M11-Stansted and the M1-Milton Keynes growth areas.