College House is undergoing major works, following enforcement action brought by Town Hall bosses.
Preston Council has served the Urgent Works Notice on the owners of the Grade II listed property, which will ensure it is water tight and secure.
Coun John Swindells, deputy leader of Preston Council, said: “It’s good news that work has finally begun at College House.
“Unfortunately, the legislation surrounding Urgent Works Notices only forces owners into carrying out works that ensures the building remains watertight.
“We are hopeful the action the council has taken will focus the interest of the owner in this lovely listed building, and result in further work eventually leading to College House being brought back into full use.
“It would certainly be great timing with all the investment going into Winckley Square through the various lottery funded initiatives and the Preston Housing Zone.”
The Work at College House coincides with the start of the restoration works of the square, the gardens, and also the inclusion of Winckley Square in the new Preston Housing Zone.
Legal action can be taken against property owners who show no sign of maintaining buildings in a proper manner.
The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) project at Winckley Square aims to refurbish buildings, bring empty space back into use and enhance the area’s streets, and encourages partnerships of organisations to carry out repairs and works.
As part of the Winckley Square THI, the council is offering grants through the scheme to owners of older properties that need work.
A THI bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for almost £1 million was received in March 2013.