The Exchange shopping centre in Essex has won a 20% business rate reduction due to the threat to trade posed by Westfield Stratford City.

The Ilford centre won the reduction from the Valuation Office until March 31, 2015 due to the draw of the giant Westfield development, reported The Independent on Sunday.

Around £10m has been spend on refurbishing the shopping centre by owner Meyer Bergman and a new 20,000sqft Next store was opened in The Exchange last week.

Markus Meijer, chief executive of Meyer Bergman, said: “We anticipated that Westfield would affect trade – particularly in the first four months.

“However, surprisingly, footfall is consistently up, sales have not been as affected as we thought, and we’ve got a 98% let scheme that is still in its final stages of redevelopment.”

He added: “ I think this shows the clear difference between Westfield and Exchange – we are catering for our local shopper.”

Retail trade around Westfield Stratford City in Ilford, Beckton, Dagenham and Romford is said to be suffering as a result of the large-scale shopping centre.