The main reason Laing lost so much money on the redevelopment of Cardiff Arms Park was that it guaranteed a maximum price on a design that was undergoing change. The original design had masts raking out at 45° at the four corners of the stadium, but a row between Millennium Stadium operator the Welsh Rugby Union and its neighbour the Cardiff Rugby Football Club led to these being modified.

Cardiff Rugby Football Club refused permission for the masts to oversail its ground. The club, whose ground adjoined Cardiff Arms Park, also blocked demolition of a stand built against a party wall.

So, the design was revamped to feature two raking and two vertical masts. The load calculations for the 480 000-member roof had to be redone. This was at Christmas 1996, just a few months before Laing had to fix its price.

One project insider says: “The problem was that the design was still developing as Laing fixed its price and was still developing as the roofing contractor hit the site.”

The row also restricted access on the site. Cardiff Rugby Football Club refused to allow Laing’s tower cranes to swing over its air space. This cut off access to one side of the ground.

Cardiff Millennium Stadium