A new museum and art gallery will welcome three exhibitions of “national importance” every year.

St Albans Museum and Art Gallery, which is currently being developed at the town hall in St Peter’s Street, is set to open its doors in the summer, in anticipation that it will welcome more than 200,000 visitors a year.

Alongside three temporary exhibitions, St Albans District Council has announced the £7.75 million museum will feature a permanent display; The City That Went Up The Hill.

The display will tell the story of St Albans’ development from before the Roman era to modern times.

St Albans on Demand is another permanent exhibition which will feature historical objects and stories suggested by local people.

The council has confirmed the museum will be spread over three floors, with the Vault Gallery in the basement used to host the most significant exhibitions.

Two touring exhibitions from two London museums and galleries have been arranged to get the museum off to a dramatic start later this year.

An exhibition of art curated by the Hayward Gallery will be followed by an exhibition of cultural treasures from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Cllr Anthony Rowlands said: “The new museum and art gallery is one of the biggest projects the council has ever undertaken and we must get it right.

“It is intended that it will become a major visitor attraction with 200,000 visitors a year, making it financially viable and boosting the local economy.

“To achieve those ambitious goals, it is clear the facilities, exhibitions and activity programmes have to be imaginative and of the highest quality.”