A former community centre will be home to start-up businesses and a new jewellery village as it awaits demolition.

Braintree Council applied last month to change the former home of the Braintree and Bocking Community Association, in Victoria Street, to retail use.

The building will be occupied by Ignite Business Enterprise, which will be using part of the building as affordable office space for new businesses.

Managing director Liz Storey said: “We have 30 small start-up units at Springwood Drive and plans for another 12.

“But at the moment it is full and we are turning away business that needs office space, so we will use the building as a temporary infill.”

Ignite also has plans to launch a jewellery village in the centre’s hall.

The community centre has been earmarked for demolition to make way for a £14million retail park led by developer Henry Boot.