After checking an application is eligible, we do a risk check. The risk check looks at how realistic and achievable your budget and management plans are. We want to know if your activity is well planned and financially realistic so that we can be confident that it will run smoothly. 

At the risk check stage we look for potential weaknesses in how the activity has been planned and budgeted - things that could cause problems and make the activity hard to deliver.

As part of the risk check we may consider:

If we find a risk, we will give a rating of high, medium or low. High risk means that a particular issue gives us concern that the activity is not likely to be managed successfully and/or there are serious concerns about your budget.

My application was considered high risk

If you have applied for £15,000 or under and we think any parts of your activity’s management or finances are high risk, we cannot process it any further. If this happens, we’ll write to you, explaining our decision.

Your decision letter will highlight the main reason that your application was considered ‘high risk’

High risk – Management 
It showed weaknesses in relation to your plans to manage the activity.

High risk – Finance
It showed weaknesses in relation to the budget for the activity.

High risk – Funding history
We had concerns about how previous funding from us has been handled.

High risk – Other

Remember, this does not mean that we think your project idea is bad; it simply means we don't think successful delivery is realistic at this stage.

More information on the Grants for the arts ‘risk check’ can be found in the How to apply guidance and it the information sheet, Understanding how we appraise applications.

You may also find it helpful to watch this video, which explains what happens after you apply and how we make decisions.


Remember, we do not appraise the artistic quality and public engagement outcomes of applications for £15,000 or under that have been unsuccessful due to a high risk. It is always worth thinking about ways you could strengthen all sections of your application form before you resubmit.

We hope that although you have been unsuccessful on this occasion, you found the Grants for the arts application process worthwhile, and can use this feedback to help you to make a more effective application in future.

You can apply again at any time, but any new application for the same activity must address the reasons that the original application was not successful. We will not be able to consider any reapplications that have not addressed this.

Addressing feedback provided will not guarantee that a future application will be successful.

If you would like to discuss your application further, please contact us on 0845 300 6200.