British modern rock radio station Xfm is establishing an awards ceremony to celebrate new music.

The inaugural Xfm gala will be held Jan. 16, 2008 at the Koko venue in Camden, and will be built around one major prize, the Xfm British debut album of the year, which will be voted on by the station's listeners.

The shortlisted acts are expected to perform at the gala, Xfm says, before a music industry panel decides the ultimate winner.

At a glance, the Xfm gala looks positioned to compete with the annual Mercury Music Prize, which recognizes the best British or Irish album of the year. The Klaxons' "Myths of the Near Future" (Rinse/Universal) won the most recent Mercury Prize, on Sept. 4.

"Xfm have been thinking of holding an awards ceremony for a while now but wanted to make sure we got it right, ensure it has real meaning and a focus point - we have chosen 'The Xfm British Debut Album of the Year' because we know new music, inside and out," comments Xfm's managing director Nick Davidson in a statement.

"We hope that it will be a great evening for everyone that attends and that the bands in the running for the award are genuinely excited by the prospect of winning it."

Xfm, which is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary since launching as a London FM-only service, is a division of GCap Media. The station has a weekly reach of 1.19 million listeners, according to recent RAJAR figures, with national and international coverage also available via digital radio, digital TV and the Internet.