Bolton has been named the ‘mouldiest’ place in the UK

Two other Greater Manchester towns are in the top 10 too.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 7th May 2024

Bolton has been named the ‘mouldiest’ place in the UK, and it’s joined by two other Greater Manchester towns in the top 10.

Talk about a not-so-coveted title, right?

From damp flats to poorly-ventilated houses, the battle against mould seems to be constant for many UK residents, and while Awaab’s Law – which was named in memory of Rochdale toddler, Awaab Ishak, and introduced back in 2023 – was brought in to tackle this very problem, by mandating faster response times from social housing landlords for dealing with damp-related issues, the problem still continues for homeowners and tenants alike despite this new legislation.

And now, some new research by thermal imaging experts at Tester has revealed where the ‘mouldiest’ places to live in the UK are.

Tester measured the average monthly search volume for various mould-related terms over the past 12 months – including ‘mould removal cost’, and ‘black mould removal’ – to figure out where the mouldiest places in the country are, and devise a top 10 list.


Bolton takes the title of the UK’s mouldiest place, according to the new research, with an average monthly search volume for mould-related terms of 945 per 100,000 people, and ‘magic mould’ being the most-searched term as residents seem eager to find a simple solution to their ever-growing mould problems. 

Top 10 ‘mouldiest’ places in the UK

  1. Bolton
  2. Croydon
  3. Manchester
  4. Bath
  5. Bristol
  6. Lincoln
  7. Bournemouth
  8. Norwich
  9. Stockport
  10. Wakefield

Manchester places third on the list, with an average monthly search volume of 922 per 100,000 people, and Stockport also features in the less-than-ideal top 10 at number nine.


Croydon in London claims the runner-up spot on the list, while Bath and Bristol round out the top five alongside Manchester, and Lincoln, Norwich, and Wakefield are some of the other areas to make up the top 10.

A spokesperson for Tester admitted that the surge in searches for mould-related terms in the UK is “worrying to say the least”.

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Speaking on the findings from the team’s new research, they continued in a statement: “The study shows that UK residents are actively seeking out mould removal solutions, pointing to a wider problem of mould and mildew growth in homes not being properly dealt with, either by landlords or homeowners themselves.”

Featured Image – Wikimedia Commons