Access Creative College and Condense, with support from LocalGlobe, have welcomed their first wave of students onto a first-of-its-kind, cutting edge scholarship programme.

The Metaverse Development Scholarship programme was open to young Bristol creatives from ethnic minority backgrounds and other under-represented groups. Over 12 intensive weeks that began in January, the programme will give students the skills they need to bring live events into the metaverse, including 3D modelling, realtime VFX and more.

The programme also serves as a means for individuals from minority representation to gain a foothold within the tech industry. According to the 2020 Tech Talent Charter, only one in ten A-Level computer studies students are women and a sample of the UK’s top 16 tech companies showed that out of 152 board positions, only four were held by someone from an ethnic minority background.

Together with support from Condense, the students have been tasked with creating a digital venue to host live events using Unity. This is an opportunity for the students to harness their creative potential and be part of the bleeding edge of AR and VR technology. 

Now, with the course in full-flow, all of the students have been learning about 3D modelling techniques, photogrammetry and textures, plugin integration, realtime VFX, and enhancing virtual worlds. Let’s meet the four individuals taking this exciting journey.

Abygail Onitolo, 23

Abygail was born and raised in Hackney, East London, moving to Brighton for University, studying Moving Image. Their degree work focused on experimental documentaries and films about marginalised groups.

They have hands-on experience with 3D modelling techniques, including Blender, Unreal Engine, green screens and other software such as After Effects, Da Vinci Resolve and Premiere Pro. Abygail also boasts having done work experience as a production assistant for the soon-to-be-released Marvel film, Antman: Quantumania.

They wanted to be part of the Condense programme because they’ve always had a strong interest in 3D and the development of technology, but always lacked the resources and space to do so.

Abygail had this to say, “When I saw this course it really stood out to me, not least because the avenues into meaningful and interesting tech roles can be hard to come by. An opportunity like this isn’t something that you see every day. The chance to be a part of something this cutting edge which can have far reaching impacts on so many cultural aspects of our society, was something I couldn’t really pass up.”

Lenore Linsell, 25

Lenore is originally from Northamptonshire but moved to Bristol in 2021. 

Having studied Creative Writing at the University of East London, Lenore transferred and subsequently graduated from BA Games Design. Despite having little experience in the subject, she was hugely passionate about games design and thought that the idea of making games sounded amazing.

Following on from her graduation, Lenore gained experience in tools such as Blender – specialising in creating low-poly and isometric scenes – as well as key industry tools such as Unity, C-Sharp and Python.

With this experience under her belt, Lenore recognised that the Access X Condense scholarship was a fantastic opportunity to focus on, and hone, her 3D skills. As well giving her the opportunity to be involved in something totally fresh and ground-breaking. 

Lenore tells us, “I’m hugely passionate about digital creation be it in game or art form, but a programme like this has given me access to something entirely different all together. I’ve seen events being held ‘in-game’ so to speak, but nothing quite like what we have the capabilities of doing here. This programme is allowing me, and everyone else involved, the chance to really sink our teeth into the future of the creative arts and tech sectors in a way no-one else is doing.”

Olivia Sprackling, 24

Olivia joined the course having come from a very different academic background. 

As a psychology graduate and with a research background at UWE, Olivia may not have had the most immediately relevant skills and experience, but with a passion and commitment to learning, as well as some experience of the technology used during the programme, she’s more than committed to succeeding in this programme. 

Oliva comments, “My background in study and psychology, while not immediately applicable to something like this, has given me a strong understanding of the science behind learning. The whole concept and theory behind this programme is fascinating, the fact that we’re on the cusp of bringing real-time events into an equally real but albeit simulated virtual setting is quite an exciting and enticing thought indeed, and I’m so happy to be a part of this group exploring its potential.”

Michael Akinkunmi, 28

Originally from Nigeria, Michael moved to Bristol in 2021 to study a Masters Degree in Construction Project Management. But after completing his Masters, Michael decided to pursue a different path.

While studying, Michael freelanced as a product designer, and it was this passion that saw him turn to a career path in creative technologies as a UX and UI designer.

While he had no direct experience in 3D modelling, Michael saw the programme as an opportunity to take his existing skills and knowledge in user experience and user interface design and apply it into, literally, an entirely different landscape.

For Michael, the Condense scholarship was a means of upskilling himself, as he explains, “I had no real direct experience in 3D modelling, which is obviously a big part of creating virtual events. But you can draw a lot of comparisons between UX, UI and what we’re learning and developing as part of this scholarship programme. We’re effectively creating experiences and interfaces in a wholly unique landscape. For me it was less a case of implementing theories which I already know but getting to grips with new and different ways of bringing these theories to life.”

For more information on Access Creative College, its courses and campuses visit and follow @accesscreativecollege on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, and @Access_Creative on Twitter. For more information on Condense, visit and follow @condensereality across social platforms. 

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.