MOBO Awards moving to Glasgow

Will be first ceremony not staged in London

LONDON -- The U.K. MOBO Awards will be staged in Glasgow this year, the first time the ceremony has been held outside of London.

Glasgow SECC will host the 2009 MOBOs on Sept. 30. The announcement was made today by awards founder Kanya King, R&B singer Lemar and "X Factor" finalists JLS.

The awards were launched in 1996. The 2009 ceremony was held at Wembley Arena and the show was broadcast in 75 countries, with digital station BBC Three screening the ceremony live in the U.K., followed by a highlights show on BBC 1. R&B singer Estelle and pop act Leona Lewis won two awards each last year; Estelle and John Legend were among the performers.

"Throughout MOBO's history we have prided ourselves on finding innovative ways to bring MOBO music and stellar artist performances to our audience and this year we are making another unprecedented move by bringing the awards to Scotland," said King in a statement.

She added that a thriving urban music scene in Glasgow had helped them make the decision to head to Scotland this year.

"We have listened to our fans and this is our first step to ensuring that MOBO is a truly universal experience for the whole of the U.K.," she said. "Whilst the show may be making a move from London for the first time, our organization remains in the capital and we are scheduling additional MOBO events that will take place in London and across other major cities."

A partnership with the PRS Foundation for New Music will involve regional showcases of emerging British talent, staged by local promoters.

The move is the result of a partnership between EventScotland, the national events agency, and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau as well as the support of Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.

"This prestigious awards ceremony will attract urban music fans from across the globe, providing a significant boost to the economy, both locally in Glasgow and across Scotland," said Michael Russell, Scottish government minister for culture, in a statement. "Bringing together musicians from the American, European and African industries will be a magnificent opportunity to put our diverse and unique national culture onto the world stage and to consolidate our international reputation for hospitality.

"The MOBOs event will also support and enhance Scotland's creative industries, a key sector that already supports 60,000 jobs and contributes over €5 billion in turnover to our economy."

Glasgow was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) City of Music in August 2008, in recognition of its average 130 music events a week. UNESCO launched its Creative Cites Network in 2004 to promote social, economic and cultural development.