Speculation mounted this week that the Scottish Office may be on the point of sending in consultants to sort out the financial crisis at Clydebank College as ministers are forced to bail out the troubled institution for the second time in eight months.
The college, which is in the sixth week of a pay dispute with lecturers, received pound;166,000 last June "to assist it in financing its recovery plan", which requires costs to come into line with other colleges.
Clydebank had an accumulated deficit at that stage of pound;826,000 and Scottish Office grant has been slashed by pound;672,000 over the past two years. This has forced the college to make savings of pound;750,000 in the current year.
The management has been citing the dire financial position as the reason it cannot make a pay offer to lecturers who submitted their claim a year ago. Another meeting at Acas, the arbitration service, is planned for today (Friday).