Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is to get a permanent display depicting the history of the Bull Ring and markets area.
The new feature is part of a £1.3 million makeover for the museum.
Other changes will include a display showcasing the history of urban music via Africa and the West Indies to the West Midlands and the expansion of an existing gallery depicting the Second World War.
The museum's Silver Gallery will be renovated, with the addition of new conservation cases showing silverware through the ages.
A new gallery will focus on a range of art objects including costume. An activitybased introduction to techniques involving local artists carrying out workshops and demonstrations for the public is planned.
A new learning centre will replace outdated facilities with equipment suitable for modern school requirements.
The museum reception area is to be extended and improved. The changes, to be ratified by the city council cabinet next week, follows the award of grants totalling £1.3 million by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport's Renaissance in the Regions Fund.
It is the first time that substantial Government funding for regional museums has been received.
All parts of the new galleries and the learning centre will be open to the public by July 2006. A council consultation exercise targeting ethnic groups from Ladywood had mixed results for the museum.
Participants complained about dense displays with too many exhibits, dark galleries, information labels with small text and difficult access up a steep flight of stairs.
However, others felt the museum exceeded their expectations and contained far more than " boring pictures".
Tony Howell, strategic director of learning and culture, said the improvements would raise the quality of the museum and art gallery enabling it to play an enhanced cultural role and draw visitors to the city centre.
"Visitor and focus groups and non-visitor consultations in Ladywood in 2004 and 2005 have demonstrated an awareness of the need for improvements to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery's building and services offer," Mr Howell added.