THE country's first museum dedicated to the slave trade will be established in Liverpool.
A £10m plan to set up the National Museum and Centre for the Understanding of Transatlantic Slavery at Albert Dock was unveiled today.
The new attraction, which won Lottery funding, will feature dynamic and thought-provoking displays about a shameful chapter in British history.
A resource centre where people will be able to research information about the slave trade will also be set up.
The facility is to be split between exhibition space at the Maritime Museum and the former Dock Traffic Office, which is currently home to Granada television.
It is hoped the new museum will be ready for 2007, Liverpool's 800th birthday and the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. The resource centre will open two years later.
Loyd Grossman, chairman of National Museums Liverpool, said: "The new museum will challenge preconceptions and address issues of relevance to everyone today."
Museum bosses believe Liverpool is the perfect location for the national archive because of the key role it played in the industry.
Thousands of slaves were brought to the city from Africa before crossing the Atlantic to work in the West Indies and North America.
Displays at the new museum will cover issues such as freedom, identity, human rights, reparations, racial discrimination and cultural change.
The Maritime Museum already has a gallery dedicated to transatlantic slavery, but the new facility will allow it to expand.
The Heritage Lottery Fund today announced it would donate 1.65m to the museum.