The 17-year-old made four appearances for the Jags after making his debut against Clyde in the ALBA Challenge Cup at the start of the campaign.
One of the most highly- rated youngsters on the books at Firhill, Bannigan progressed through the Jags’ youth ranks and recently put pen to paper on a new long-term deal which will have him remain with Thistle until the summer of 2013.
He will now be given the chance to further enhance his reputation with Brian Reid’s Irn-Bru Second Division title challengers before returning to battle for a first-team spot with the Jags.
“Stuart will join a very good team on loan in Ayr United,” Jags boss Ian McCall said. “I spoke to our coach Ian Cameron about it and we feel it will be a really good move for him.
“He is on the verge of the first team at the moment and we want to help him to keep developing.
“We think the best thing for Stuart is to put him out on loan for a month and, by January, although he will just have turned 18, I think he will be ready to stake a claim to be in our first team week in, week out. I think it will do him the world of good.”
The Jags travel to crisis club Dundee tomorrow looking to continue their impressive recent run which has had them collect nine points from the last 12.
The Scottish Football League management committee handed down a 25-point penalty to the Dens Park side after they entered administration for the second time to leave them 20 points adrift of Morton at the bottom of the table.
And McCall expects Thistle to face the Dark Blues’ backlash as caretaker manager Barry Smith attempts to salvage their First Division status.
“I have been in that situation and it is not easy,” he said. “It can galvanise players and I am sure it will do that for Dundee.
“They will be tough to beat between now and the end of the season and they will be up for it, of course they will.
“Dens Park is one of the best grounds in Scotland so it is a good game for all of us.
“You can have the mentality of everyone being against you and that can make you stronger.
“I feel for the players and I feel for Barry. In the cold light of day, it will be tough for him, he is a great lad.
“In six months’ time, he might see that this is a good first job for him because the expectation has been taken away from them.
“If they go down to the Second Division they would be expected to go and win it and that is when things will get tough, but I think it might be a good job for Barry, even though he might not see it like that just now.”
A 4-2 defeat to Stirling Albion a fortnight ago had the Jags slip to bottom of the standings, but victory on Tayside tomorrow could move them up to fourth in the table.
And McCall hopes winning becomes a habit in the coming weeks.
“We are on a good run, but you want to make it five, six and seven games, and then it becomes a terrific run,” he said.
“Three wins in four matches is a reasonable level of consistency, but the fact is there was a blip against Stirling where the result and performance was very poor.
“That has been the downside of the run, but the players are doing well just now and long may that continue.”