A NEW awards ceremony is being launched that will celebrate Scotland's thriving LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community.

The inaugural Icon Awards 2015 will take place in October and tonight event organisers will launch a dedicated website - www.icon-awards.co.uk - which will allow the public to vote for nominees.

Prizes will be awarded across 18 categories including the likes of Politician of the Year, Employer of the Year and the Beauty Industry Award.

Michael Macfarlane, event manager for the award's organisers, Paramount Creative, said it was the right time to launch the ceremony in Scotland.

He said: "For too long Scottish people have been sidelined in mainstream LGBTI ceremonies, and with the recent report that we are one of the most progressive countries in Europe it shouldn't be the case.

"So much good work has and is being done in Scotland and Icon 2015 will aim to recognise that, and create an event open to everyone."

The award winners will be announced at the Gala Final on October 9 at Glasgow's Crowne Plaza Hotel, where they expect around 500 guests.

Edinburgh based HIV and Hepatitis C charity, Waverley Care, is the appointed as charity partner for the event.

Warren Paul, CEO of Paramount Creative said: "We are delighted to be able to support Waverley Care this year, there is still so much work to do in the treatment and prevention of HIV and we are only too happy to help the amazing work Waverley Care do across Scotland"

The award categories are: the Icon Award, the Waverley Care Special Recognition Award, Volunteer of the year, Community Spirit Award (sponsored by Gaai Magazine), Uniformed Icon of the Year (sponsored by RAF), Sporting Icon of the Year, Role Model of the Year, (sponsored by Pride Glasgow), Businessperson of the year,Wedding Venue of the year (sponsored by Tartan Partnerships), Venue of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, (sponsored by Xpress Radio Scotland), Business of the Year, Marketing campaign of the Year (sponsored by We Are AD), Journalist of the Year, Politician of the Year (sponsored by the Sunday Herald), Employer of the Year, media portrayal award and the beauty industry award.