Harman technology Ltd, which owns the famous Ilford black & white film brand, is poised to cut around 80 jobs as the economic downturn hits sales.

The firm will reduce its workforce from 344 to 264 – a loss of around 23% of its staff.

‘While our business is robust, there is no escaping the fact that we are in the midst of a global recession,’ the Cheshire-based company will say in an official statement to be released next week.

Harman said that it needs to act quickly to enable it to ‘ride out’ the recession.

It adds: ‘Times are hard for all manufacturers and Harman technology Limited is no exception. With people spending less on non-essential items – including photo-imaging products – we now find ourselves in a position where our capacity exceeds demand.’

However, the company insists that the b&w film market is an ‘area of photography that will always have its diehard following’.

Amateur Photographer understands that the business which has been hit hardest relates to demand for products such as ‘banner stands’, which Harman supplies to the marketing and advertising markets.

The company tells us that it will ‘explore all avenues to mitigate the job losses’.

Harman was set up five years ago after buying out the film side of Ilford Imaging.

Harman trades as Ilford Photo for its range of monochrome film, paper and photo chemistry products.

In 2007 Harman launched its own range of inkjet paper.