The Theatre Awards UK are the only awards which specifically address theatre throughout the country, as opposed to focusing on London and the West End.
Last year's winners included Derek Jacobi (Best Performance in a Play for King Lear), Michael Sheen and Bill Mitchell (Best Director for The Passion) and Matilda's Bertie Carvel (Best Performance in a Musical). Peter Hall also received a lifetime achievement award.
Voting for the newly-public touring award will open in September, when audiences will be able to vote for their favourite show online.
Rachel Tackley, president of the Theatrical Management Association, said: "We had tremendous feedback for the Awards in 2011 which really began to provide an accurate reflection of the excitement, quality and diversity of the best in regional theatre up and down the UK today. We are delighted that so many organisations have been generous in helping us take the Awards to another level in 2012."
Julian Bird, Chief Executive of TMA and the Society of London Theatre, added: "Regional theatre is weathering the current economic storm remarkably well, thanks to the support of the public. 2012 will be the first time their voice is heard as part of the Awards."