YOUNGSTERS have paid homage to village ‘legend’ Eric Beak by naming a room after him in their youth centre.

A new extension at Malpas Youth Centre, which will serve as a chill-out room for young people to socialise, has been named ‘Eric’s Room’ in honour of the former chairman of the Young Persons Council.

He was one of the driving forces behind the opening of the centre back in 2004.

Eric took responsibility of the original idea for a Youth Centre in Malpas back in 1997 when he sat on Malpas Parish Council.

He was tasked with chairing a meeting for people interested in doing more to create facilities for young people in the village.

The project, subsequently known as the Young Persons Council, was then granted funding from the Lottery to build the centre.

Since its opening the facility, just off Chester Road, has proved a big success with around 50 children regularly attending every Friday.

It is largely run by volunteers who try to ensure that the centre is a warm and welcoming place for young people to spend time.

And following the opening of ‘Eric’s Room’, the Young Persons Council is now hoping to expand the Wednesday night sessions where the older group will be able to take part in activities like debate nights, jamming nights, football and basketball.

Mr Beak, who still acts as a trustee for the centre, said: “This is a lovely gesture, it is a very generous thing to do and I take it as a great honour but there are lots of people like me who have been with the project since the very beginning.

“We all feel proud of making the youth centre a reality and it’s great to see the young people using it.

“When I see the young people, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Michaela Carroll, who regularly attends the youth club, added: “The centre is a really great way of getting young people off the streets and also gives the younger ones the chance to socialise and meet loads of people their own way.

“The committee as a whole decided the room should be named after Eric. He is definitely a legend in Malpas.

“Eric does a massive amount, not just for the centre, but for Malpas as a community.”